Pope Francis: Pray for Our Bishops and Priests Who Serve the Lord

Reflects on the Grace of Anointing During Morning Mass

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Bishops and priests are not chosen just to run an organization but rather are the anointed ones chosen by the Lord to serve His people. This was Pope Francis reflection during his homily today at Casa Santa Marta.

The Holy Father began by commenting on the first reading which recounts Davids anointing as King of Israel. Without it, the Pope said, David would have been a mere political organizer. “The anointing allows for the Spirit of the Lord to descend upon David. This is precisely the difference anointing makes,” the Pope said.

“The bishops are elected not only to conduct an organization, which is called the particular Church. They are anointed: they have the anointing and the Spirit of the Lord is with them. All the bishops are sinners, everyone. Still, we are anointed.”

“It is in this anointing that a particular Church has its strength. Because they take part [in the bishops mission of service] priests are anointed, as well.”

The Holy Father continued his homily saying that the anointing brings priests and bishops closer to the Lord, allowing them to live in the service of their people. It is impossible to understand or explain, however, that the Church can continue on human strength alone.

“We in history know but a small part – though how many holy bishops, how many priests, how many holy priests have given their lives in the service of the diocese, the parish how many people have received the power of faith, the power of love, hope [itself] from these anonymous pastors? We do not know. There are so many.”

While acknowledging that people may read negative news about bishops and priests who have done things contrary to the Gospel, the Holy Father asked the faithful to ponder on how often good news about their works are reported.

“Tell me, though: do the papers carry news of what great charity so many priests, so many priests in so many parishes of the city and the countryside, perform? Of the great work they do in carrying their people forward?,” he asked. “No? This is not news.”

Concluding his homily, Pope Francis exhorted those present to reflect on the anointing of King David, which calls us to pray for our brave, holy, good, faithful bishops and priests, and pray for them. “We are here today thanks to them.” (J.A.E.)

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