FULL TEXT Homily - Pope Francis says that Jesus asks "...Brother Cardinals, can I count on you?" at Creation of 20 New Cardinals and 2 New Saints - VIDEO

 On Saturday, the 27th of August, for Pope Francis' eighth Consistory,  he created 20 new cardinals, 16 of whom are electors in a future Conclave, and four non-electors, over the age of 80. The celebration marks a universal Consistory, with Church leaders from the five continents. It was also be a "mixed" Consistory with the creation of the 20 new cardinals, with a vote shortly afterwards on the causes for canonization of two Blesseds.
Basilica of Saint Peter
Saturday, August 27, 2022
This saying of Jesus, right in the middle of Luke's Gospel, strikes us like an arrow: "I have come to cast fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already lit!" (12.49).
While on his way with the disciples to Jerusalem, the Lord makes an announcement in a typical prophetic style, using two images: fire and baptism (cf. 12: 49-50).

The fire must bring him into the world; baptism will have to receive it Himself. I only take the image of the fire, which here is the powerful flame of the Spirit of God, it is God himself as "devouring fire" (Dt 4,24; Heb 12:29), passionate Love that purifies, regenerates and transfigures everything. This fire - as indeed also "baptism" - is fully revealed in the paschal mystery of Christ, when he, as a burning pillar, opens the way of life through the dark sea of ​​sin and death.
However, there is another fire, that of embers. We find it in John, in the account of the third and last appearance of the risen Jesus to the disciples, on the lake of Galilee (cf. 21: 9-14).

This little fire was lit by Jesus himself, near the shore, while the disciples were on the boats and pulled up the net overflowing with fish. And Simon Peter arrived first, swimming, full of joy (cf. v. 7). The charcoal fire is mild, hidden, but lasts a long time and is used for cooking. And there, on the shore of the lake, he creates a family environment where the disciples enjoy, amazed and moved, the intimacy with their Lord.
It will do us good, dear brothers and sisters, on this day, to meditate together starting from the image of fire, in its double form; and in the light of him to pray for the Cardinals, especially for you, who in this very celebration receive their dignity and task.
With the words recorded in the Gospel of Luke, the Lord calls us again to put ourselves behind him, to follow him on the path of his mission. A mission of fire - like that of Elijah -, both for what he came to do and for how he did it. And to us, who in the Church have been taken from among the people for a ministry of special service, it is as if Jesus were handing over the lighted torch, saying: Take, "as the Father has sent me, so am I sending you" (Jn 20 , 21). Thus the Lord wants to communicate to us his apostolic courage, his zeal for the salvation of every human being, no one excluded. He wants to communicate his magnanimity to us, his love without limits, without reservations, without conditions, because the mercy of the Father burns in his heart. It is what burns in the heart of Jesus: the mercy of the Father. And within this fire there is also the mysterious tension, proper to Christ's mission, between fidelity to his people, to the land of promises, to those whom the Father has given him and, at the same time, openness to all peoples - that universal tension -, on the horizon of the world, on the peripheries still unknown.
This powerful fire is what animated the apostle Paul in his tireless service to the Gospel, in his guided missionary "race", always pushed forward by the Spirit and the Word. It is also the fire of so many missionaries who have experienced the tiring and sweet joy of evangelizing, and whose very life has become the gospel, because they were first and foremost witnesses.
This, brothers and sisters, is the fire that Jesus came to "throw on the earth", and that the Holy Spirit also kindles in the hearts, hands and feet of those who follow him. The fire of Jesus, the fire that Jesus brings.
Then there is the other fire, that of embers. The Lord also wants to communicate this to us, because like him, with meekness, fidelity, closeness and tenderness - this is God's style: closeness, compassion and tenderness - we can make many enjoy the presence of Jesus alive in our midst. A presence so evident, even in the mystery, that there is no need to ask: "Who are you?", Because the heart itself says that it is He, it is the Lord. This fire burns in a particular way in the prayer of adoration, when we are in silence near the Eucharist and savor the humble, discreet, hidden presence of the Lord, like a fire of embers, so that this presence itself becomes nourishment for our daily life.
The charcoal fire makes us think, for example, of St. Charles de Foucauld: of his staying for a long time in a non-Christian environment, in the solitude of the desert, focusing everything on the presence: the presence of the living Jesus, in the Word and in the Eucharist, and the his own fraternal, friendly, charitable presence. But it also makes us think of those brothers and sisters who live the secular consecration in the world, nourishing the low and lasting fire in the workplace, in interpersonal relationships, in small fraternity meetings; or, as priests, in a persevering and generous ministry, without clamor, among the people of the parish. A pastor of three parishes, here in Italy, told me that he had a lot of work. “But are you able to visit all the people?” I said. "Yes, I know everyone!" - "But do you know everyone's name?" - “Yes, even the names of the dogs of the families”. This is the mild fire that brings the apostolate to the light of Jesus. And then, isn't it the fire of embers that warms the lives of so many Christian spouses every day? Marital holiness! Revived with a simple, "homemade" prayer, with gestures and looks of tenderness, and with the love that patiently accompanies children on their journey of growth. And let us not forget the charcoal fire guarded by the elderly - they are a treasure, the treasure of the Church - the hearth of memory, both in the family and in the social and civil spheres. How important is this old people's brazier! Families gather around it; it allows you to read the present in the light of past experiences, and to make wise choices.
Dear brother Cardinals, in the light and power of this fire walk the holy and faithful People, from whom we were drawn, from that people of God, and to whom we were sent as ministers of Christ the Lord. What does this double fire of Jesus, the impetuous fire and the mild fire, say to you and me in particular? It seems to me that it reminds us that a man of apostolic zeal is animated by the fire of the Spirit to courageously take care of things big as well as small ones, so that “he does not coercion a maximo, contineri tamen a minima, divinum est”. Don't forget: this brings St. Thomas to the Prima Primae. Do not coercion to maximo: to have great horizons and a great desire for great things; contineri tamen a minima, is divine, divinum est.
A Cardinal loves the Church, always with the same spiritual fire, both in dealing with big questions and in dealing with small ones; both by meeting the great of this world - he must do so, many times - and the little ones, who are great before God. , the new horizons of Europe after the cold war - and God forbid that human myopia closes again those horizons that He has opened! But in the eyes of God, the visits he regularly made to young people detained in a juvenile prison in Rome, where he was called "Don Agostino", are equally valuable. He did the great diplomacy - the martyrdom of patience, this was his life - together with the weekly visit to Casal del Marmo, with the young people. And how many examples of this type could be given! I am reminded of Cardinal Van Thu├ón, called to shepherd the People of God in another crucial scenario of the twentieth century, and at the same time animated by the fire of Christ's love to take care of the soul of the jailer who watched over the door of the his cell. These people were not afraid of the "great", the "maximum"; but he also took the "little one" of every day. After a meeting in which Cardinal Casaroli had informed Saint John XXIII of his latest mission - I don't know if in Slovakia or in the Czech Republic, one of these countries, there was talk of high politics - and when he was leaving the Pope called him and he said to him: "Ah, Eminence, one thing: Do you continue to go to those young prisoners?" - “Yes” - “You never leave them!”. The great diplomacy and the little pastoral thing. This is the heart of a priest, the heart of a Cardinal.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us return with our gaze to Jesus: only He knows the secret of this humble magnanimity, of this meek power, of this universality attentive to detail. The secret of God's fire, which descends from heaven, illuminating it from one extreme to the other and which slowly cooks the food of poor families, migrants, or homeless people. Jesus wants to throw this fire on the earth today too; he wants to light it up again on the shores of our daily stories. He calls us by name, each of us, he calls us by name: we are not a number; he looks us in the eye, each one of us, let us be looked in the eye, and he asks us: you, the new Cardinal - and all of you, brother Cardinals -, can I count on you? That question from the Lord.
And I don't want to end up without a memory of Cardinal Richard Kuuia Baawobr, bishop of Wa, who yesterday, on his arrival in Rome, felt ill and was hospitalized for a heart problem and, I believe, they did an operation, something of the gender. We pray for this brother who was supposed to be here and is hospitalized. Thank you.
Source: Vatican.va and Vatican News Intro Excerpt