By Linda Bordoni
Speaking during the homily at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis said we can be reborn from “our sinful existence” only with "the help of the same power that raised the Lord: the power of God”. That’s why, he continued, “the Lord sent us the Holy Spirit”, because alone, we cannot do it.
He was reflecting on the Gospel of the day in which Jesus tells Nicodemus “You must be born from above”.
Linking this message to Easter and the Lord’s Resurrection, the Pope recalled the fact that in the first apparition of Jesus to the apostles, on the Sunday of the Resurrection, the Lord breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit”.
The Holy Spirit is our strength
“This is our strength! We cannot do anything without the Spirit”, he said.
Reminding those present that a Christian life is not only about behaving well and doing the right things, the Pope said we can write our lives in “flourishing penmanship” but we are reborn only from the Spirit, therefore we must make room for it:
“It is the Spirit that allows us to rise from our limitations, from our deaths, because there are so many necroses in our life and in our soul”, he said.
The Pope explained that “a life, that may call itself Christian, but that leaves no room for the Spirit and does not allow itself to be carried forward by the Spirit, is a pagan life, disguised as Christian”.
“The Spirit” he said, “is the protagonist of Christian life”.
It is the Holy Spirit, he said, who accompanies us, transforms us, and overcomes sin with us.
“No one has ever ascended to heaven except He who descended from heaven: Jesus. He came down from heaven, and at the moment of the resurrection, he said to us ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’, the companion of Christian life”.
“One cannot walk the path of a Christian life without the Holy Spirit”, he said.
The Holy Spirit is our daily companion
There cannot be a Christian life without the Holy Spirit, who is “our daily companion”, the Pope continued: “a gift from the Father, a gift from Jesus”.
“Let us ask the Lord” the Pope said, “to give us this awareness that we cannot be Christians without walking with the Holy Spirit, without acting with the Holy Spirit, without letting the Holy Spirit be the protagonist of our lives”.
We must ask ourselves, therefore – he concluded – what place does the Spirit have in our lives, and we must ask the Lord for the grace to understand this message: "Our companion on our way is the Holy Spirit”.