VATICAN CITY (RNS) — During a Mass this Sunday (May 31) celebrating Pentecost, when Christians believe the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus’ apostles, Pope Francis called on faithful to be bringers of unity at a time when the world seems rife with division.

Francis celebrated Mass before a small number of Catholic faithful, who were wearing masks and respecting social distancing measures within St. Peter’s Basilica. This weekend the pope celebrated the first public events since the beginning of the pandemic, which took over Italy and the Vatican in early March.

In his homily, Francis drew from the gospels to explain the differences among the twelve apostles. They “were from different backgrounds and social contexts,” and all of them “had different ideas and sensibilities,” the

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