Thursday, November 15, 2018

Pope Francis "The mission is passion for Jesus, but at the same time, it is passion for his people." FULL TEXT + Video


ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS FATHER FRANCIS
AL PONTIFICIO COLEGIO PÍO LATINOAMERICANO

Clementine Room
Thursday, November 15, 2018


I am happy to meet you and join in the thanksgiving for the 160 years of life of the Pontifical Pío Latinoamericano College. Thanks to the rector, Fr. Gilberto Freire, S.J., for his words on behalf of the entire priestly community and the lay collaborators that make possible, with their daily work, the home life.

Perhaps the most notable characteristic of your College is its Latin American being. It is one of the few Roman Colleges that his identity does not refer to a Nation or a charism, but seeks to be the meeting place, in Rome, of our Latin American land - the Great Homeland as our heroes liked to dream. And so the College was dreamed of and so it is loved by its bishops who give priority to this house, offering you, young priests, the opportunity to create a vision, a reflection and an experience of communion expressly "Latin Americanized".

One of the phenomena that currently hits the continent is the cultural fragmentation, the polarization of the social fabric and the loss of roots. This is exacerbated when discourses are fomented that divide and propagate different types of confrontations and hatred towards those who "are not of ours", even importing cultural models that have little or nothing to do with our history and identity and that, far from mestizing in new syntheses as in the past, end up uprooting our cultures from their richest and most autochthonous traditions. New generations uprooted and fragmented! The Church is not alien to the situation and is exposed to this temptation; subject to the same environment runs the risk of becoming disoriented by falling prey to one or another polarization or uprooted if you forget your vocation to be a meeting ground [1]. The invasion of ideological colonization is also suffered in the Church.

Hence the importance of this time in Rome and especially in the College: to create bonds and alliances of friendship and fraternity. And this not because of a declaration of principles or gestures of goodwill, but because during these years they can learn to know better and make their own the joys and hopes, the sorrows and anguish of their brothers; they can name and face specific situations that our people live and face and feel their neighbor's problems as their own.

The "Pius" can help a lot to create an open and creative, happy and hopeful priestly community, if he knows how to help and help himself, if he is able to take root in the lives of others, brothers and sisters of a common history and heritage, part of a same presbytery and Latin American people. A priestly community that discovers that the greatest strength it has to build history is born of the concrete solidarity among you today, and will continue tomorrow between your churches and peoples to be able to transcend the merely "parochial" and lead communities that know how to open up to others to weave and heal hope (see Exhort, Evangelii Gaudium, 228).

Our continent, marked by old and new wounds, needs artisans of relationship and communion, open and trusting in the novelty that the Kingdom of God can arouse today. And that you can start to develop it from now on. A priest in his parish, in his diocese, can do a lot - and that's fine - but he also runs the risk of burning himself, isolating himself or harvesting for himself. Feeling part of a priestly community, in which everyone is important - not because it is the sum of people living together, but because of the relationships they create, this feeling of belonging to this community - awakens and encourages processes and dynamics capable of transcending the time [2].

This sense of belonging and recognition will help to creatively unleash and stimulate renewed missionary energies that promote an evangelical humanism capable of becoming intelligence and a driving force in our continent. Without this sense of belonging and work hand in hand, on the contrary, we will disperse, we will weaken and what would be worse, we will deprive so many of our brothers of the strength, the light and the consolation of friendship with Jesus Christ and of a community of faith that gives a horizon of meaning and life (see Exhort, Evangelii Gaudium, 49). And so, little by little, and almost without realizing it, we will end up offering Latin America a "God without Church, a Church without Christ, a Christ without a people" (Homily at the Mass of Santa Marta, 11 November 2016) or, if we want to put it another way, a God without Christ, a Christ without a Church, a Church without a people ... pure re-elaborated Gnosticism.
Our continent, marked by old and new wounds, needs artisans of relationship and communion, open and trusting in the novelty that the Kingdom of God can arouse today. And that you can start to develop it from now on. A priest in his parish, in his diocese, can do a lot - and that's fine - but he also runs the risk of burning himself, isolating himself or harvesting for himself. Feeling part of a priestly community, in which everyone is important - not because it is the sum of people living together, but because of the relationships they create, this feeling of belonging to this community - awakens and encourages processes and dynamics capable of transcending the time [2].

This sense of belonging and recognition will help to creatively unleash and stimulate renewed missionary energies that promote an evangelical humanism capable of becoming intelligence and a driving force in our continent. Without this sense of belonging and work hand in hand, on the contrary, we will disperse, we will weaken and what would be worse, we will deprive so many of our brothers of the strength, the light and the consolation of friendship with Jesus Christ and of a community of faith that gives a horizon of meaning and life (see Exhort, Evangelii Gaudium, 49). And so, little by little, and almost without realizing it, we will end up offering Latin America a "God without Church, a Church without Christ, a Christ without a people" (Homily at the Mass of Santa Marta, 11 November 2016) or, if we want to put it another way, a God without Christ, a Christ without a Church, a Church without a people ... pure re-elaborated Gnosticism.

Our continent has managed to capture in its tradition and in its memory a reality: the love of Christ and of Christ can not manifest itself except in passion for life and for the destiny of our peoples and especially solidarity with the poorest, suffering and needy [3].

This reminds us of the importance, dear brothers, that in order to be evangelizers with soul and soul, so that our life may be fruitful and renewed with the passing of time, it is necessary to develop the pleasure of always being close to the life of our people; never isolate ourselves from them. The life of the diocesan presbyter lives -she lacks the redundancy- of this identification and belonging. The mission is passion for Jesus, but at the same time, it is passion for his people. It is learning to look where he looks and to let ourselves be moved by the same thing that he is moved: feelings for the life of his brothers, especially of sinners and of all those who are despondent and fatigued like sheep without a shepherd (cf Mt 9, 36). Please, never curl up in personal or community sheds that take us away from the knots where the story is written. Captivated by Jesus and members of his Body, we integrate deeply into society, share life with everyone, listen to their concerns ... rejoice with those who are happy, mourn with those who mourn and offer every Eucharist for all those faces that were entrusted to us ( see Exhort, Evangelii Gaudium, 269-270).

Hence, find providential power to join this anniversary with the canonization of St. Oscar Romero, former student of your institution and living sign of the fecundity and sanctity of the Latin American Church. A man rooted in the Word of God and in the hearts of his people. This reality allows us to make contact with that long chain of witnesses in which we are invited to root and inspire each day, especially in this time that you are "away from home". Do not be afraid of holiness, do not be afraid to spend your life for your people.

On the path of cultural and pastoral miscegenation we are not orphans; Our Mother accompanies us. She wanted to be like that, mestizo and fertile, and that is how she is with us, Mother of tenderness and strength that rescues us from the paralysis or confusion of fear because she is simply there, she is Mother.

Brothers priests: Let us not forget it and, confidently, ask it to teach us the way, to free us from the perversion of clericalism, to make us more and more "village pastors" and not allow us to become "clerics of the State".

A final word for the Society of Jesus - the presence of its General and the Jesuits who are here - that from the beginning accompanies the walk of this house. Thanks for your work and task.
One of the distinguishing marks of the Company's charism is that of seeking to harmonize contradictions without falling into reductionism. This is what Saint Ignatius wanted to think of the Jesuits as men of contemplation and action, men of discernment and obedience, committed to daily life and free to depart [4]. The mission that the Church puts in your hands asks for wisdom and dedication so that the time that the boys are in the house can be nourished by this gift of the Company, learning to harmonize the contradictions that life presents to them and present them without falling into reductionism, winning in the spirit of discernment and freedom. Teach to embrace problems and conflicts without fear; to handle dissent and confrontation. Teaching to reveal all kinds of "correct" but reductionist discourse is a crucial task for those who accompany their brothers in formation. Help them to discover the art and taste of discernment as a way of proceeding to find, in the midst of difficulties, the ways of the Spirit by tasting and feeling the Deus semper maior internally. Be teachers of great horizons and, at the same time, teach to take charge of the small, to embrace the poor, the sick and to assume the concrete of everyday life. Maximum coefficient, continue at least divinum est.

Thank you again for allowing me to celebrate with you the first 160 years of my journey. In greeting them, I also want to greet your communities, your villages, your families. And, please, do not forget to pray and have prayers for me.

[1] Cf. S. Óscar Romero, IV Pastoral Letter - Mission of the Church in the midst of the country's crisis (August 6, 1979), 23.

[2] It is well to remember that "it is better to be two than one. [...] If one falls, the other raises him up, but poor of the one who falls alone, without another being able to lift him up! "(Qo 4,9-10).

[3] Cf. Guzmán Carriquiry, recalling the 50 years of CELAM, on the way to the V Conference, 31.

[4] Cf. J.M. Bergoglio, Meditations for religious, 93-94.

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