Pope Francis Tells Priests and Seminarians "Be addicted to the encounter with Jesus..." in the Tabernacle and Not to be Addicted to the Cell Phone - FULL TEXT

Clementine Room
Monday, November 28, 2022
I am happy, dear brothers and sisters, to be with all of you today, members of the Colegio Pío Latinoamericano family. I liked that they received me singing. I couldn't answer them singing because I sing for the ram, so it would have been a disaster. These years in which you are in Rome are a time of grace that the Lord grants you to deepen your formation, not only on an intellectual and academic level, and to experience the richness and diversity of the universal Church. Perhaps it is the richest; that richness and diversity. This richness and diversity also characterizes our peoples in Latin America, where they will return to continue being shepherds of the flock that the Church entrusts to them. Pastors of the people, and not state clerics. That is a bit of what the vocation leads them to.
The first Christians also came from diverse peoples and cultures. And it was the Holy Spirit, who descended on them, who caused them to have "one heart and one soul" (Acts 4:32), to speak the same language - the language of love - and to be disciples and missionaries of Jesus. to the ends of the earth (cf. Mt 28,19). Thinking of Andrew the Apostle, whose feast we celebrate this Wednesday, I would like to dwell on these two terms: disciples and missionaries.
In the Gospel of John we see that Andrew was one of the first disciples of Jesus. Given his concern to know who the Master was, and his invitation: "Come and see" (Jn 1,39), he went, saw where he lived and stayed with him that day. And it was there that he radically changed his life. Therefore, dear brothers, let us always renew, it will do us good, let us renew that encounter with the Lord, daily, let us share his Word, let us remain silent before him to see what he tells us, what he does, how he feels, how he is silent, how he loves. Let him be the "Word" in our lives and, if you allow me the image, let him "conjugate" in us and through us, let him be the Lord. Let us not prevent him from acting in our ministry in the first Person. May Jesus have an active voice in each of our decisions! We are his ministers, we belong to him and he called us to “be with him”. This is what it means to be disciples.
Andrew's encounter with Jesus did not leave him calm and with his arms crossed, but he transformed him, and he was no longer the same as before, and he could only go and announce what he had experienced. And the first person he found to tell him was his own brother Peter Simon: "We have found the Messiah" (Jn 1,41), and he took him to where Jesus was. In this way, Andrés “premiered” as a missionary. And our brothers and sisters are also waiting for us, especially those who have not yet experienced the love and mercy of the Lord, so that we can announce the Good News of Jesus and lead them to Him. Go out, move, bring the joy of the Gospel , that is to be missionaries.
Mark, in his Gospel, summarizes the call of Jesus to be disciples and missionaries. In the third chapter we read that he called the apostles "to be with him and to send them out to preach" (v. 14). Being with Jesus and going out to announce it. Two verbs: "to be" and "to go out". That is the meaning of our life. It is a "round trip" path, which has Jesus as its starting and ending point. Let us not forget that "being" with Jesus and "going out" to announce him is also being with the poor, with the migrants, with the sick, with the prisoners, with the little ones, with the most forgotten in society, and sharing with them life and announce the unconditional love of God. Because Jesus is present in those most vulnerable brothers and sisters, He awaits us there in a special way (cf. Mt 25:34-40).
And don't forget to return to Him, every night, after a long day — but be careful, to Him, not to a cell phone screen. It hurts me a lot when I see that a good, hard-working priest gets tired and forgets to go to the tabernacle, and he goes to sleep because he is tired. He's right, he has to sleep, but he says hello first. Don't be rude... Or how many times do they escape on a cell phone screen? The cell phone screen clutters us with things. Please don't be addicted to that escape world. Don't be addicted. There are various steps that take away your strength. Be addicted to the encounter with Jesus, and He knows what we need and has a word to say to us on each occasion.
One thing I said in passing, is that you return to be pastors of the People of God. Please, never negotiate pastorality. Pastors of the People of God, not state clergy. Do not fall into clericalism, which is one of the worst perversions. Be very careful, clericalism is a form of spiritual worldliness. Clericalism is deforming, it is corrupt, and it leads you to a corruption, a starchy corruption, with your nose standing up, which separates you from the town, makes you forget the town you came from. Paul told Timothy: “Remember your mother and your grandmother” (cf. 2 Tm, 5-7), that is, go back to your roots, don't forget your mother and your grandmother. I tell each one of you. Returning to the flock from which we were taken... "I took you from behind the flock" (cf. 2 S, 8).
Please, every time you become more "exquisite" in the true sense of the word, that is, further away from the people, every time you do that, you distance yourself from God's grace and fall into the plague of clericalism. People's pastors, not state clerics. Ask for the grace to know how to always be before, in the middle and behind the people, involved with the people from which Jesus took you.
And let us ask Our Lady of Guadalupe to help us on the path of "discipleship-apostolate" that is configuring us with her Son, to accompany us on that vital itinerary of "round trip" that starts from Jesus to the brothers, to return with the brothers to meet Jesus. Let us beg the Apostle Saint Andrew to intercede for us.
And again, thank you for this visit. I wish you a good Roman way, take all the good things you can find in Rome, the others don't, leave them in Rome, they will be in charge of taking them forward here, and please, don't forget to pray for me. Thanks.
Source: Vatican.va