SPEECH OF HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE COMMUNITY OF THE MEXICAN PONTIFICAL COLLEGE
Sala Clementina - Monday, March 29, 2021
The vivid memory of the encounters I had with the holy People of God in my apostolic visit to Mexico in '16 , which in a certain way is renewed every year with the celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lady of Guadalupe here in the Vatican Basilica, He accompanies me today, and I greet all of you, who make up the Mexican College community. I thank Father Víctor Ulises Vásquez Moreno for the words he addressed to me on behalf of those present. In them, he highlights some of the main challenges for the evangelization of Mexico and the entire American continent, particularly in the midst of the difficulties we face due to the pandemic. And these challenges have a profound impact on the ongoing ongoing formation journey that you are undertaking here in Rome.
Today's problems demand from us priests that we conform to the Lord and the gaze of love with which He contemplates us. By conforming our gaze with his, our gaze is transformed into a gaze of tenderness , reconciliation and brotherhood . Only by contemplating the Lord can we have this.
And I would like to highlight these three features. Above all, we need to have the look of tenderness with which our Father God sees the problems that afflict society: violence, social and economic inequalities, polarization, corruption and lack of hope, especially among the youngest.
The Virgin Mary serves as an example for us, who with the tenderness of a mother reflects the endearing love of God who welcomes everyone, without distinction. The ever-deepening configuration with the Good Shepherd arouses in each priest a true compassion , both for the sheep that are entrusted to him and for those who are lost. Compassion. Tenderness, compassion, a word is missing, which with tenderness and compassion form God's style: closeness, compassion and tenderness. That is God's style. And that is the style of a priest who strives to be faithful.
And only by allowing ourselves to be modeled by Him does our pastoral charity intensify, where no one is excluded from our solicitude and prayer. In addition, this prevents us from seclusion at home, or in the office or in hobbies, and encourages us to go out to meet people, not to stay still. Not to clericalize ourselves. Do not forget that clericalism is a perversion.
Second, we also need to have a look of reconciliation . The social difficulties that we go through, the enormous differences and corruption demand a look from us that enables us to weave the different threads that have weakened or have been cut in the multicolored tilma of cultures that make up the social and religious fabric of your nation, paying attention, above all, to those discarded because of their indigenous roots or their particular popular religiosity. Pastors are called to help rebuild respectful and constructive relationships between people, human groups, and cultures within society, proposing to all to "allow themselves to be reconciled by God" (cf. 2 Cor 5,20), to commit themselves to the reestablishment of Justice.
And finally, our current time impels us to have a look of brotherhood. The challenges we face are of such a breadth that they encompass the social fabric and the globalized reality interconnected by social networks and the media. For this reason, together with Christ the Servant and Shepherd, we must be able to have a vision of the whole and unity, which encourages us to create fraternity, which allows us to highlight the points of connection and interaction within cultures and within the ecclesial community. A look that facilitates communion and fraternal participation; a look that encourages and guides the faithful to be respectful of our common home and builders of a new world, in collaboration with all men and women of good will. And of course, in order to look like this, we need the light of faith and the wisdom of someone who knows how to “take off their sandals” to contemplate the mystery of God and, from that perspective, read the signs of the times. For this, it is essential to harmonize the academic, spiritual, human and pastoral dimensions in ongoing formation. The harmonized fours. If you leave here with a doctorate, because you only studied one thing, you wasted your time. "No, but I will do a PhD ...". You wasted your time and your heart. Well, I wonder: how are your spiritual dimension, your human dimension, community dimension and your apostolic dimension? There are four dimensions that always interact, and if they do not interact we end up laps in the best of cases. wasted time. "No, but I will do a PhD ...". You wasted your time and your heart. Well, I wonder: how are your spiritual dimension, your human dimension, community dimension and your apostolic dimension? There are four dimensions that always interact, and if they do not interact we end up laps in the best of cases. wasted time. "No, but I will do a PhD ...". You wasted your time and your heart. Well, I wonder: how are your spiritual dimension, your human dimension, community dimension and your apostolic dimension? There are four dimensions that always interact, and if they do not interact we end up laps in the best of cases.
And at the same time, we need to become aware of our personal and community deficiencies, as well as to become aware of the negligence and faults that we have to correct in our personal, community, school, community life in the presbytery, in the dioceses. We are called not to underestimate the worldly temptations that can lead to insufficient personal knowledge, self-referential attitudes, consumerism and multiple forms of evasion of our responsibilities.
And it always impressed me that De Lubac ends his book Meditation on the Church , the last three pages, talking about spiritual worldliness. And taking a text from an ancient Benedictine, he comments on it, and says more or less like this: Spiritual worldliness, we can say pastoral, spiritual worldliness, that is, the spiritually worldly way of life of a priest, a religious, a religious woman a lay person, a lay woman, spiritual worldliness is the worst evil that can happen to the Church. Literal. Worse still than the time of the concubine popes. I suggest you reread those three sheets at the end of the book. Please beware of worldliness. It is the door of corruption.
Dear brothers and sisters: taking into account the need not to divert our gaze from Christ, the suffering Servant, I earnestly ask you not to stop delving into the roots of the faith that you have received in your different particular Churches, and that come from a rich process of inculturation of the Gospel, of which Our Lady of Guadalupe is a model, whose image they venerate in the school chapel. She reminds us of the elective love of her Son Jesus by making us partakers of his priesthood. Turn confidently to the Brunette, Mother of God and our Mother, ask her for whatever you need, knowing that She has us under her shadow and shelter. And do not escape her, because She is going to wait for you the other way. You know how to do it. He is always vigilant. Lead your life well, transparent, the life of sinners who know how to get up on time, that they know how to ask for help and that they keep walking even if it is in a wheelchair. It was your turn now.
To the Virgin, to the Morenita, and to Saint Joseph, who is a model of participation in the redemptive mystery with his humble and silent service, and whose year we are celebrating, we ask you to take care of all the Clergy of Mexico, the community of this Pontifical Mexican College. May the Lord bless you. And please don't forget to pray for me, I need it, because this job is not easy at all.