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View of the Vatican basilica from a roof near saint Peter square in Rome

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS - Alberto Luccaroni

Pope’s Homily for Jubilee of the Curia, Feast of Chair of St. Peter

“It is not the rock that gets its name from Peter, but Peter that gets it from the rock, just as the name Christ does not derive from the Christian, but the name Christian derives from Christ”

Below is a ZENIT translation of Pope Francis’ homily during the Mass he celebrated this morning in St. Peter’s Basilica for the Feast of the Chair of Peter and the Jubilee of Mercy for the Roman Curia and all the Institutions related to the Holy See:

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The liturgical feast of the Chair of Saint Peter sees us gathered to celebrate the Jubilee of Mercy as a community of service of the Roman Curia, of the Governorate and of the Institutions connected to the Holy See. We have crossed the Holy Door and reached the tomb of the Apostle Peter to make our profession of faith, and today the Word of God illumines our gestures in a special way.

At this moment, the Lord Jesus repeats to each one of us His question: “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15). It is a clear and direct question, in face of which it is not possible to flee or remain neutral, or to send the answer or delegate it to someone else. However, there is nothing inquisitorial in it, rather, it is full of love! — love of our only Teacher, who today calls us to renew our faith in Him, recognizing him as Son of God and Lord of our life. And the first called to renew his profession of faith is the Successor of Peter, who bears in himself the responsibility to confirm his brothers (Cf. Luke 22:32).

Let us allow grace to mould our heart again to believe, and to open our mouth to carry out our profession of faith and to obtain salvation (Cf. Romans 10:10). Hence, let us make Peter’s words our own: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). May our thought and our gaze be fixed on Jesus Christ, beginning and end of every action of the Church. He is the foundation and no one can place a different one (1 Corinthians 3:11). He is the “rock” on which we must build. Saint Augustine reminds of this when he writes that the Church, although agitated and shaken by the events of history, “does not collapse because she is founded on the rock, from which Peter derives his name. It is not the rock that gets its name from Peter, but Peter that gets it from the rock, just as the name Christ does not derive from the Christian, but the name Christian derives from Christ. […] Christ is the rock, on whose foundation Peter was also built” (In Joh 124, 5:PL 35, 1972).

From this profession of faith the task derives for each one of us to correspond to God’s call. Requested of Pastors, first of all, is to have God Himself as model, who takes care of His flock. The prophet Ezekiel described the way God acts: He goes in search of the lost sheep, and brings the lost back to the sheepfold, bandages the wounded and cares for the sick (34:16) – behavior that is a sign of love that knows no bounds. It is faithful, constant, unconditional dedication, so that His mercy can reach all the weakest. And, yet, we must not forget that Ezekiel’s prophecy starts from the verification of the failings of the Pastors of Israel. Therefore, it also does us good — called to be Pastors in the Church — to let the face of God the Good Shepherd illumine us, to purify us, to transforms us and to restore us fully renewed to our mission., so that also in our work environments we can feel, cultivate and practice a strong pastoral sense, first of all with the persons we meet every day. May no one feel neglected or mistreated, but may everyone be able to experience, first of all here, the solicitous care of the Good Shepherd.

We are called to be collaborators of God in such a fundamental and unique enterprise as that of witnessing with our existence the strength of the grace that transforms and the power of the Spirit that renews. Let us allow the Lord to free us from every temptation that takes us away from what is essential in our mission and let us rediscover the beauty of professing our faith in the Lord Jesus. Fidelity to the ministry combines well with the mercy we wish to experience. In Sacred Scripture, moreover, fidelity and mercy are an inseparable binomial. Where one is, the other is also found, and precisely in their reciprocity and complementarity the presence itself of the Good Shepherd can be seen. The fidelity requested of us is to act according to the heart of Christ. As we heard from the words of the Apostle Peter, we must tend the flock with a “generous spirit” and become a “model” for all. Thus, “when the chief Shepherd is manifested,” we will be able to receive “the unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:14).

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]

The Jubilee of the Roman Curia, of the Governorate and of the Institutions connected to the Holy See began at 8:30 am in Paul VI Hall with the Celebration of the Half Hour and a meditation from Father Marko Ivan Rupnik, S.J. on “Mercy in Our Daily Life.” The Holy Father Francis was present and, immediately after, took part with the laity and Religious in the procession that — passing by Saint Peter’s Square — reached the Vatican Basilica through the Holy Door.

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