“And to you young people, boys and girls, that are in the piazza: Think about if you believe the Lord is calling you to consecrate your life to His service, be it in the priesthood, or in consecrated life.”
Pope Francis made this appeal for young people in St. Peter’s Square to contemplate this during his Regina Caeli address today at noon, as he recalled that today marks the 53rd World Day of Prayer for Vocations. This morning, in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Holy Father celebrated Mass and ordained 11 new priests.
In his homily, the Pope told the soon to be priests,“Have always in mind the example of the Good Shepherd, who came not to be served, but to serve; to seek and save that which was lost.”
Francis also reminded them that two elements–word and example–build the house of God, which is the Church, and told them to “continue the sanctifying work of Christ.”
Don’t Fall for Evil One’s ‘Deceitful Flattery’
During his Regina Caeli address, the Pope also encouraged faithful to recognize that our lives are safe in God’s hands, and that the Devil, despite his ‘deceitful flattery’ won’t get the best of us, if we don’t ‘open the door’ to him.
The Pope also reflected on today’s Gospel from St. John with Jesus as our Good Shepherd, and we, His sheep.
“‘I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand.” (v. 28). Who can speak like that? Only Jesus, because the “hand” of Jesus is one with the “hand” of the Father, and the Father is “greater than all” (v. 29).
Immense Tenderness, Absolute Security
These words, the Pope said, convey a sense of “absolute security and immense tenderness.”
“Our life is completely safe in the hands of Jesus and the Father, Who are one, one love, one mercy, revealed once and for all in the sacrifice of the Cross. To save the lost sheep that is all of us, the Pastor became Lamb and let Himself be sacrificed to take upon Himself, and take away, the sin of the world.”
This is why, the Argentine Pope stressed, we no longer fear.
“Nothing and no one can snatch us out of the hands of Jesus, because nothing and no one can win His love. The love of Jesus is invincible! The evil, the great enemy of God and of His creatures, tries in many ways to snatch eternal life. But the evil one cannot do anything if we do not open the doors of our soul and do not follow his deceitful flattery,” the Pope said.
Tragic Memory of Martyrdom
After reciting the midday prayer, Pope Francis reflected on his visit yesterday to the Greek Island of Lesbos to meet with refugees and stressed how many children there were, many of whom have witnessed the death of their parents and of their companions.
“I saw so much pain!” the Pope decried.
“And I want to tell about a particular case, a young man, who wasn’t even 40 yet. I met him yesterday, with his two sons. He is a Muslim and he told me he was married to a Christian woman, and that they loved and respected each other. But, unfortunately, this girl had been slaughtered by terrorists, because she refused to deny Christ and abandon her faith. She’s martyr! And the man was crying so much …”
Sadness for Earthquake Victims
The Pope also lamented over the violent 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Ecuador last night, killing more than 273 and injuring some 3,000, saying let’s pray for those populations, as well as those of Japan, who also have been hit by earthquakes in recent days.
The Holy Father also expressed his closeness to the many families worried about finding work, expressing his hope that the dignity of human persons prevails over special interests.
As usual, Pope Francis concluded his address wishing all gathered a good lunch, Sunday, and reminded them to pray for him.
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full Translation of Regina Caeli Address: https://zenit.org/articles/regina-caeli-on-listening-with-ones-heart/
Full Translation of Homily: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-homily-to-new-priests-on-53rd-world-day-of-prayer-for-vocations/