Christ had said to them: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8). Precisely to prepare them for this great mission, Jesus had promised them the Holy Spirit on the day before his Passion, in the Upper Room, telling them: “When the Counsellor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning” (Jn 15:26-27).
The witness of the Spirit of truth must become one with that of the Apostles, thus fusing the divine and human witness into one saving reality. From this fusion flows the work of evangelization, begun on the day of Pentecost and entrusted to the Church as her task and mission down the ages.
- Pope John Paul II, Homily for Pentecost, 1997
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“If you see charity, you see the Trinity”, wrote Saint Augustine. In the foregoing reflections, we have been able to focus our attention on the Pierced one (cf. Jn 19:37, Zech12:10), recognizing the plan of the Father who, moved by love (cf. Jn 3:16), sent his only-begotten Son into the world to redeem man. By dying on the Cross—as Saint John tells us—Jesus “gave up his Spirit” (Jn 19:30), anticipating the gift of the Holy Spirit that he would make after his Resurrection (cf. Jn 20:22). This was to fulfil the promise of “rivers of living water” that would flow out of the hearts of believers, through the outpouring of the Spirit (cf. Jn 7:38-39). The Spirit, in fact, is that interior power which harmonizes their hearts with Christ's heart and moves them to love their brethren as Christ loved them, when he bent down to wash the feet of the disciples (cf. Jn 13:1-13) and above all when he gave his life for us (cf. Jn 13:1, 15:13).
The Spirit is also the energy which transforms the heart of the ecclesial community, so that it becomes a witness before the world to the love of the Father, who wishes to make humanity a single family in his Son. The entire activity of the Church is an expression of a love that seeks the integral good of man: it seeks his evangelization through Word and Sacrament, an undertaking that is often heroic in the way it is acted out in history; and it seeks to promote man in the various arenas of life and human activity. Love is therefore the service that the Church carries out in order to attend constantly to man's sufferings and his needs, including material needs.
- Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est
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In full agreement with Our predecessors, with those saints whom our age has given to the Church on earth and in heaven, and with the devout instincts of the faithful, We are convinced that charity should today assume its rightful, foremost position in the scale of religious and moral values-and not just in theory, but in the practice of the Christian life. And this applies not only to the charity we show toward God who has poured out the abundance of His love upon us, but also to the charity which we in turn should lavish on our brothers, the whole human race.
Charity is the key to everything. It sets all to rights. There is nothing which charity cannot achieve and renew. Charity "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." Who is there among us who does not realize this? And since we realize it, is not this the time to put it into practice?
- Pope Paul VI, Ecclesiam Suam