Pope Francis Ordains 9 Men to the Priesthood and Says "But first of all be close to God, with prayer." FULL TEXT Homily + Mass Video
HOLY MASS WITH PRIESTLY ORDINATIONS - Pope Francis celebrates Mass on Good Shepherd Sunday, and ordains 9 men to the priesthood for the Diocese of Rome.
The nine deacons ordained to the priesthood were: Georg Marius Bogdan, Salvatore Marco Montone, Manuel Secci, Diego Armando Barrera Parra, Salvatore Lucchesi, Giorgio de Iuri, Riccardo Cendamo, Samuel Piermarini, and Mateus Henrique Ataide da Cruz.
FULL TEXT HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
St. Peter's Basilica - IV Easter Sunday, 25 April 2021
Dear brothers, these children of ours have been called to the order of the presbyterate. Let us carefully consider what ministry they will be elevated to in the Church.
As you know, brothers, the Lord Jesus is the only high priest of the New Testament; but in him also all the holy people of God were constituted a priestly people. Nonetheless, among all his disciples, the Lord Jesus wanted to choose some in particular, so that by publicly exercising the priestly office in the Church in his name in favor of all men, they would continue his personal mission as teacher, priest and pastor.
After mature reflection, we are now about to raise these brothers to the order of presbyters, so that in the service of Christ the teacher, priest and pastor they cooperate in building the body of Christ, which is the Church, into the people of God and the holy temple of the Spirit.
As for you, beloved children, who are about to be promoted to the order of the presbyterate, consider that by exercising the ministry of sacred doctrine you will participate in the mission of Christ, the only teacher. You will be shepherds like him, this is what he wants of you. Shepherds. Shepherds of the holy faithful people of God. Shepherds who go with the people of God: sometimes in front of the flock, sometimes in the middle or behind, but always there, with the people of God.
At one time - in the language of the past - there was talk of the "ecclesiastical career", which did not have the same meaning as it does today. This is not a "career": it is a service, a service like that which God has done to his people. And this service of God to his people has "traces", it has a style, a style that you must follow. Style of closeness, style of compassion and style of tenderness. This is God's style. Closeness, compassion, tenderness.
The vicinity. The four neighborhoods of the priest are four. Closeness to God in prayer, in the sacraments, in the Mass. Talk to the Lord, be close to the Lord. He made himself close to us in his Son. The whole story of his Son. He has also been close to you, to each of you, on the path of your life up to this moment. Even in the bad times of sin, it was there. Nearness. Be close to the holy faithful people of God. But first of all close to God, with prayer. A priest who does not pray slowly extinguishes the fire of the Spirit within. Closeness to God.
Second: closeness to the Bishop, and in this case to the "Vice Bishop". Stay close, because in the Bishop you will have unity. You are, I don't mean servants - you are God's servants - but collaborators of the Bishop. Nearness. I remember once, a long time ago, a priest who had the misfortune - so to speak - of making a "slip" ... The first thing I had in mind was to call the Bishop. Even in bad times he calls the Bishop to be close to him. Closeness to God in prayer, closeness to the Bishop. “But I don't like this Bishop…”. But he's your father. "But this Bishop treats me badly ...". Be humble, go to the Bishop.
Third: closeness between you. And I suggest you a resolution to make this day: never speak badly of a brother priest. If you have something against another, be men, you have pants: go there, and tell him to his face. "But this is a very bad thing ... I don't know how he will take it ...". Go to the Bishop, who helps you. But never, never gossip. Don't be talkative. Don't fall into gossip. Unity among you: in the presbyteral council, in the commissions, at work. Closeness between you and the Bishop.
And fourth: for me, after God, the most important closeness is to the holy faithful people of God. None of you studied to become a priest. You have studied the ecclesiastical sciences, as the Church says it must be done. But you were chosen, taken from the people of God. The Lord said to David: "I have taken the flock away from you". Do not forget where you came from: of your family, of your people ... Do not lose the sense of the people of God. Paul said to Timothy: "Remember your mother, your grandmother ...". Yes, where did you come from. And that people of God… The author of the Letter to the Hebrews says: “Remember those who introduced you to the faith”. Priests of the people, not clerics of state!
The four closeness of the priest: closeness with God, closeness with the Bishop, closeness between you, closeness with the people of God. The style of closeness which is God's style. But God's style is also a style of compassion and of tenderness. Don't close your heart to problems. And you will see so many! When people come to tell you about their problems and to be accompanied… You waste time listening and comforting. Compassion, which leads you to forgiveness, to mercy. Please: be merciful, be forgiving. Because God forgives everything, he never tires of forgiving, it is we who get tired of asking for forgiveness. Closeness and compassion. But tender compassion, with that tenderness of family, of brothers, of a father ... with that tenderness that makes you feel that you are in the house of God.
I wish you this style, this style which is God's style.
And then, I mentioned something to you in the Sacristy, but I would like to mention it here before the people of God. Please, get away from vanity, from the pride of money. The devil enters "from the pockets". Think about this. Be poor, as the holy faithful people of God are poor. Poor people who love the poor. Don't be climbers. The "ecclesiastical career" ... Then you become an official, and when a priest begins to be an entrepreneur, both in the parish and in the college ..., wherever he is, he loses that closeness to the people, he loses that poverty that makes him similar to poor Christ and crucified, and becomes the entrepreneur, the entrepreneur priest and not the servant. I heard a story that moved me. A very intelligent, very practical, very capable priest, who had many administrations in his hands, but had his heart attached to that office one day, because he saw that one of his employees, an elderly man, had made a mistake, scolded him, threw him out. And that old man died for it. That man had been ordained a priest, and ended up as a ruthless businessman. Always have this image, always have this image.
Pastors close to God, to the Bishop, among you, and to the people of God. Pastors: servants as shepherds, not entrepreneurs. And get away from the money.
And then, remember that this road of the four neighborhoods is beautiful, this road of being shepherds, because Jesus comforts the shepherds, because He is the Good Shepherd. And seek consolation in Jesus, seek consolation in Our Lady - do not forget the Mother - always seek consolation there: to be consoled from there.
And carry the crosses - there will be some in our life - in the hands of Jesus and Our Lady. And don't be afraid, don't be afraid. If you are close to the Lord, the Bishop, among yourselves, and the people of God, if you have God's style - closeness, compassion and tenderness - do not be afraid, that everything will be fine.
Source: Vatican.va - Image Screenshot