Sunday, May 07, 2006

Pope Ordains Priests for Rome and the Carmelites

From the homily via Asia News Italy:

In the homily, the pope highlighted some fundamental aspects of the priesthood in the image of the “Good Shepherd”.

1) The priest does not want “to personally become someone, but rather to be so for another, for Christ, and thus through Him and with Him, to be there for the men He seeks, who He wants to lead to the path of life. One enters the priesthood through the Sacrament – and this means precisely: through the total giving of self to Christ, so that He may use me, so that I may serve Him and follow his call, even if this should be in contrast with my desires of self-realisation and esteem. Entering the door, that is Christ, means knowing and loving him ever more, because our will becomes one with his and our behaviour becomes one thing with his.”

2) Celebrated each day, the Eucharist “should become for us a school of life, in which we learn to give our life. Life is not given only in the moment of death and not only in the moment of martyrdom. We must give it day after day. We must learn, day after day, that I do not possess my life for myself. Day after day, I must learn to abandon myself, to put myself at the disposal of that which He, the Lord, wants of me at that moment, even if other things appear more beautiful or important to me. Giving life, not taking it. And it is thus that we experience freedom. Freedom from ourselves, the enormity of being. It is in being useful that our life becomes important and beautiful. Only those who give their life, find it.

3) The priest must live in his intimate “relationship with Christ and through the Father, only then can we truly understand men, and then they will realise they have found a true shepherd”.

4) “The mission of Jesus regards all humanity, and so the Church is entrusted with a responsibility for all humanity, so that they may recognize God, that God who, for all of us, became man in Jesus Christ, suffered, died and rose. The Church should never be content with the line-up of those who have joined it at a certain point. It cannot withdraw comfortably within the borders of its own environment. It is entrusted with universal concern; it should concern itself about everyone. This great task must be “translated” in our respective missions. Obviously, a priest, a pastor of souls, should worry above all about those who believe and live with the Church, who seek there the path to life and who, for their part, are living stones, building the Church and thus together edifying and supporting the priest too. All the same, we must always once again – as the Lord days – go “into the roads and lanes” (Lk 14:23) to bear the invitation of God to his banquet to those men who so far have not yet heard anything, and who have not been touched inside.”