Presentation on theme: "While the Lord's invitation to "abide in his love" (Jn 15:9) Is true for all the baptized, on the Feasty day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it resonates."— Presentation transcript:
While the Lord's invitation to "abide in his love" (Jn 15:9) Is true for all the baptized, on the Feasty day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it resonates with a new conviction in us, priests. We must never forget, that from this Heart, sprang the gift of our priestly ministry.
May your teaching be food for the people of God, the perfume of your life, joy and support of Christ’s faithful, so that by word and example, you are building the house of God, which is the Church.
Be aware of what you are doing; conform your life to what you celebrate, so that by participating in the mystery of the death and resurrection of the Lord, you bear the death of Christ within you and walk with him into a new life.
Aware of having been chosen among men and formed to take care of the things of God, exercise with joy and sincere charity your priestly ministry of Christ, not to please yourself, but only to please God. You are pastors, not public servants. Mediators, not intermediaries.
Always have before your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd who did not come to be served, but to serve, and to seek and guide to salvation that which was lost.
Be ever merciful. By anointing with holy oil, you will fortify the sick and the elderly: do not be ashamed of feelings of tenderness for the elderly. In celebrating the liturgy and offering prayers of praise and supplication throughout the day, you will be the spokesperson of the People of God and of all mankind.
Like the Good Shepherd, the priest is a man of mercy and compassion, close to his people and servant of all. It is a pastoral criterion I would really like to emphasize: proximity. Proximity and service, but proximity, being close! …
Whoever is wounded in his life in any way whatsoever, can find in him someone to care, to listen... In particular, the priest manifests the depths of mercy when administering the sacrament of reconciliation; he manifests it in his behavior, in the way he welcomes, he counsels and he gives absolution...
Mercy means neither indulgence nor rigidity. The truly merciful priest behaves like the Good Samaritan... but why does he do this? Because his heart is capable of compassion, it is the heart of Christ!
Follow Christ and be pastors «Simon, son of John, do you love me? ». Three times Christ asks the first of the Apostles if he loves him more than the others. « How is my first love? » That is to say, do I love you as on the first day? Am I happy with you or do I ignore you? These are universal questions that should be asked often.
« We must never forget our first love. Never ». "Be before all else: before studies, before trying to become « an intellectual of philosophy, of theology or of patristic», a « pastor » as Jesus requested of Peter. « Feed my sheep ». The rest will follow.
If we have lost our orientation; and we do not know how to respond about love; we do not know how to respond about being a pastor; we do not know with certainty that the Lord does not leave us alone in the most serious moments of life, during illness, he says, « Follow me». That’s is our absolute certainty!
There is no « glory » or « majesty » for the pastor who consecrates himself to Jesus. In most cases, his life will end up in the most common fashion, the most humiliating also. Fate is to end up like Him. « A love that dies » like « the seed of grain », and so the fruit will follow later. But I will not see it.
May the Lord give all of us, bishops and priests, the grace to always find and remember the first love: be pastors, do not to be ashamed to end humiliated on a bed or having lost sanity. May he always give us the grace to follow Jesus, to walk in his footsteps, the grace to follow!