CTV Screenshot

Pope Ordains New Priests on 54th World Day of Prayer for Vocations

In Homily on Good Shepherd Sunday Says: ‘Be joyful, never sad — joyful, with the joy of the service of Christ also in the midst of sufferings, misunderstandings and your own sins. Always keep before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd, who did not come to be served but to serve’

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

Below is a translation of Pope Francis’ homily on the fourth Sunday of Easter and the 54nd World Day of Pray for the Vocations’s Mass, at this morning’s Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
During the Mass, the Pope conferred priestly ordination on10 Deacons from Roman Diocesan Seminaries (Pontifical Major Roman Seminary, Pontifical Minor Roman Seminary, “Redemptoris Mater” Diocesan College, Our Lady of Divine Love Seminary) and of other colleges.
Concelebrating with the Holy Father were: Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome; H.E. Monsignor Filippo Iannone, Vice-Manager, Auxiliary Bishops, Superiors of the Seminaries concerned and parish priests of the candidates for ordination.
* * *
Dearest Brothers, these sons of ours have been called to the Order of the Presbyterate. We reflect on the ministry to which they will be elevated in the Church. As you well know, Brothers, the Lord Jesus is the only High Priest of the New Testament; however, in Him the whole Holy People of God was constituted a priestly people. Nevertheless, among all His disciples, the Lord Jesus wills to choose some in particular, to exercise publicly in the Church in His name the priestly office in favor of all men, to continue His personal mission of Teacher, Priest and Pastor. They were chosen by the Lord Jesus not to have a career, but to do this service.
As, in fact, He was sent by the Father for this, so, in His turn, He sent into the world first the Apostles and then the Bishops and their Successors, to whom, finally, priests were given as their collaborators , who, united to them in the priestly ministry, are called to the service of the People of God.
After mature reflection and prayer, we are now about to elevate to the Order of Presbyters these Brothers of ours, so that, at the service of Christ, Teacher, Priest <and> Pastor, they will cooperate and build the Body of Christ, which is the Church, in People of God and Holy Temple of the Holy Spirit.
In fact, they will be configured to Christ, High and Eternal Priest. They ill be consecrated as true priests of the New Testament, and with this title, which unites them in the priesthood to their Bishop, they will be preachers of the Gospel, Pastors of the People of God, and will preside over the acts of worship, especially in the celebration of the Lord’s sacrifice.
As to you, most beloved sons and brothers, who are about to be promoted to the Order of the Presbyterate, consider that exercising the ministry of the Sacred Doctrine, you will be participants in the mission of Christ, only Teacher. Dispense to all that Word of God, which you yourselves received with joy as children. Read and meditate assiduously the Lord’s Word to believe what you have read, to teach what you have learned in the faith, to live what you have taught.
Therefore, may your simple doctrine, — as the Lord spoke, which reached the heart –, be nutriment for the People of God. Do not give too intellectual and elaborate homilies: speak simply, speak to hearts, and such preaching will be true nutriment. And may the perfume of your life be joy and support to the faithful, because the word without the example of life is no use; it is better to go back. A double life is an awful sickness in the Church. You must continue the sanctifying work of Christ. . Through your ministry, the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is made perfect, because it is joined to the sacrifice of Christ, who through your hands, in the name of the whole Church, is offered in a bloodless way on the altar in the celebration of the Holy Mysteries.
Realize, then, what you do. Imitate what you celebrate so that, taking part in the mystery of the Lord’s Death and Resurrection, you bear Christ’s death in your members and walk with Him in novelty of life. A presbyter who has studied, perhaps, much Theology and has obtained one, two, three degrees but has not learnt to carry the cross of Christ, is of no use. He will be a good academic, a good professor, but not a priest.
With Baptism, you will add new faithful to the People of God. With the Sacrament of Penance, you will remit sins in the name of Christ and of the Church. Please, I ask you in the name of Christ and of the Church, be merciful always; do not put on the faithful’s shoulders burdens they cannot carry, nor can you. Jesus reprimanded Doctors of the Law for this and called them hypocrites. With holy oil you will give relief to the sick. One of the tasks – perhaps annoying, even painful, is to go to seek the sick. You do so. It is o.k. that lay faithful, deacons go, but do not neglect to touch the suffering flesh of Christ in the sick: this sanctifies you, it brings you close to Christ. By celebrating the sacred rites and raising in the different hours of the day the prayer of praise and of supplication, you will make yourselves voice of the People of God and of the whole of humanity.
Aware of being chosen among men and constituted in their favor to attend to the things of God, exercise in gladness and sincere charity Christ’s priestly work. Be joyful, never sad — joyful, with the joy of the service of Christ also in the midst of sufferings, misunderstandings <and> your own sins. Always keep before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd, who did not come to be served but to serve. Please, do not be “lords,” do not be “clerics of State,” but Pastors, Pastors of the People of God.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation