HOLY MASS WITH PRESBITERAL ORDINATIONS
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
Sunday, 12 May 2019
Dear brothers and sisters,
These children of ours have been called to the Order of the Presbyterate. It will be good for all of us to think carefully about which ministry will be elevated in the Church. As you well know, brethren, the Lord Jesus is the only High Priest of the New Testament, but in him also all the holy people of God has been constituted priestly people. Nevertheless, among all his disciples, the Lord Jesus wants to choose some in particular, because by publicly exercising in the Church in his name the priestly office in favor of all men, he continued his personal mission as teacher, priest and pastor.
In fact, because of this he had been sent by the Father, so he in turn sent to the world first the Apostles and then the Bishops and their successors, to whom were finally given as collaborators the presbyters, who, united to them in the priestly ministry , they are called to serve the People of God.
After many years of reflection - reflection on them, reflection of the superiors, of those who accompanied them on this path -, today they presented themselves so that I may confer on them the priestly order.
They will in fact be configured to Christ the Supreme and Eternal Priest, or they will be consecrated as true priests of the New Testament, and for this reason, which unites them in the priesthood to their Bishop, they will be preachers of the Gospel, Pastors of the People of God, and will preside over the actions of worship, especially in the celebration of the Lord's sacrifice, that is, in the Eucharist.
As for you, dear brothers and children, who are about to be promoted to the order of the presbyterate, consider that by exercising the ministry of the Sacred Doctrine you will be participants in the mission of Christ, the only Master. This is not a cultural association, it is not a union. You will be participants in the ministry of Christ. Dispense to all that Word of God, which you yourselves have received with joy. And for this you read and meditate assiduously on the Word of the Lord to believe what you have read, to teach what you have learned in faith, to live what you have taught. One can never give a homily, a preaching, without much prayer, with the Bible in hand. Don't forget about this.
Let your doctrine be therefore nourishment to the People of God: when it comes from the heart and is born of prayer, it will be so fruitful. May the perfume of your life be joy and support for the faithful of Christ: men of prayer, men of sacrifice, so that with the Word and example you build the house of God, which is the Church. And so you will continue the sanctifying work of Christ. Through your ministry, the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is made perfect, because it is combined with the sacrifice of Christ, which in your hands, in the name of the whole Church, is offered in a bloodless way on the altar in the celebration of the Holy Mysteries. Be careful in the celebration of the Eucharist. So recognize what you do. Imitate what you celebrate because by participating in the mystery of the Lord's death and resurrection, you carry the death of Christ in your members and walk with Him in newness of life. The Lord wanted to save us for free. He himself told us: "Give free what you have received for free". The celebration of the Eucharist is the culmination of the Lord's gratuity. Please don't mess it up with petty interests.
With Baptism you will aggregate new faithful to the People of God. With the Sacrament of Penance you will forgive sins in the name of God, of Christ, of the Church. And here, please, I ask you not to tire of being merciful. Merciful as the Father, as Jesus was merciful to us, to all of us. With holy oil you will give relief to the sick. You waste time visiting the sick and the sick. Celebrating the sacred rites and raising the prayer of praise and supplication in the various hours of the day, you will make yourselves the voice of the People of God and of all humanity.
Aware of having been chosen among men and constituted in their favor to await the things of God, exercise in joy and charity, with sincerity, the priestly work of Christ, solely intent on pleasing God and not yourselves. Priestly joy is found only on this path, seeking to please God who has elected us. Finally, by participating in the mission of Christ, the Head and Pastor, in filial communion with your Bishop, commit yourselves to uniting the faithful into one family. Here are the closeness of the priest: close to God in prayer, close to the bishop who is your father, close to the presbytery, to other priests, as brothers, without "peeling" one another [speak ill of one another ], and close to the People of God. 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 save what was lost.
FULL TEXT + Image Share from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation