Good Shepherd


Pope Francis 12.05.19  Priests

Dearest Brothers and Sisters,

Our sons have been called to the order of priests. It will do us all good to consider carefully the position to which they are to be promoted in the Church. It is true that the Lord Jesus is the High Priest of the New Testament and God has also made his entire people a royal priesthood in Christ. But Jesus Christ also chose some of his followers to carry out publicly in the Church a priestly ministry in his name on behalf of mankind, continuing his personal mission as Teacher, as Priest, as Shepherd.

Indeed, for this reason he was sent by the Father, and he in turn sent into the world the Apostles, and then the Bishops and their successors.
Priests are co-workers of the order of Bishops, to whom they are joined in the priestly office and are called to serve the People of God.

After many years of reflection — their own reflection, the reflection of their superiors, of those who have accompanied them on this path —, they have presented themselves today so that I may confer on them the priestly Order.

They are called to be moulded into the likeness of Christ, the Supreme and Eternal Priest. By consecration, they will be made true priests of the New Testament, and in this role, sharing in the priesthood of their Bishop, to preach the Gospel, sustain God’s people, and preside at rites of worship, above all the celebration of the Lord’s sacrifice, that is, the Eucharist.

My beloved brothers and sons, you are now to be advanced to the order of the presbyterate. You must apply your energies to the duty of teaching in the name of Christ, the chief Teacher. This is not a cultural association; it is not a union. You will participate in Christ’s ministry. Share with all mankind the Word of God you received with joy. And for this reason, read and meditate on the Word of the Lord, believe what you read, teach what you believe, and put into practice what you teach. You should never deliver a homily without much prayer, with the Bible in hand. Do not forget this.

Let the doctrine you teach be true nourishment for the People of God: when it comes from the heart and arises from prayer, it will be very fruitful. Let the example of your life attract the followers of Christ: men of prayer, men of sacrifice so that by word and action you may build up the House of God which is the Church. In the same way you must continue the sanctifying work of Christ. The spiritual sacrifice of the faithful will be perfected through your ministry, united to Christ’s sacrifice, and through your hands be offered sacramentally on the altar in celebration of the Holy mysteries. Be attentive in the celebration of the Eucharist.

Know what you are doing and imitate the mystery you celebrate. In memory of the Lord’s death and Resurrection, carry Christ’s death within you and walk with him in the newness of life.

The Lord wished to save us gratuitously. He himself said: “Freely give what you freely received”. The celebration of the Eucharist is the culmination of the Lord’s gratuitousness. Please do not soil it with petty interests.

When you baptize you will bring new men and women into the People of God. In the Sacrament of Penance, you will forgive sins in the name of God, of Christ and of the Church. And here, I ask you, please, never tire of being merciful. Merciful like the Father, as Jesus was merciful with us, with all of us. With holy oil you will relieve and console the sick. Idle away time visiting the sick and the invalid. You will celebrate the liturgy and offer thanks and praise to God throughout the day, praying not only for the People of God, but for the whole of humanity.

Remember that you are chosen from among mankind and appointed to act in their favour by attending to the things of God. Carry out the work of Christ’s ministry with genuine joy and love, with sincerity, seeking only to please God and not yourselves. Priestly joy is found only on this path, in trying to please God who elected us.

Finally conscious of sharing in the work of Christ, the head and Shepherd of the Church, and united with the Bishop and subject to him, seek to bring the faithful together into a unified family. These are the affinities proper to priests: close to God in prayer, close to the bishop who is your father, close to the presbytery, to other priests, as brothers, without excoriating each other [speaking ill of each other], and close to the People of God. Always keep in mind the example of
the Good Shepherd who came not to be served but to serve and to seek out and rescue those who were lost.




Pope Francis 12.05.19 The Good Shepherd

Dear Brothers and Sisters Good Morning.

In today's Gospel Jesus presents himself as the true shepherd of Gods' people. He speaks of the relationship that binds Him to the sheep of the flock; that is to say his disciples. And he insists on the fact that it is a relationship of mutual knowledge. He says  "My sheep listen to my voice, I know them and they follow me . I give them eternal life and they will not be lost." Reading this sentence carefully we see that the work of Jesus  is expressed in some actions. He speaks, He knows, Jesus gives eternal life, Jesus guards.

The Good Shepherd Jesus is attentive to each one of us. He seeks and loves us addressing to us His words, knowing the depths of our hearts, our desires and our hopes as well as our failures and our disappointments . He welcomes us and loves us as we are with our strengths and weaknesses for each one of us He gives eternal life. That is He offers the possibility of leading a full life without end. Moreover, He protects us and guides us with love, helping us to cross the impervious paths and sometimes risky roads that arise in the path of life. 

The verbs and gestures that describe this way in which Jesus the Good Shepherd communicates with us are matched by the verbs that concern the sheep us. "They listen to my voice; They follow me." These are actions that show how we must correspond to the tender and caring attitudes of the Lord. Listening and recognising His voice in fact implies intimacy with Him who us joined in prayer in the heart to heart encounter with the divine master and pastor of our souls . This intimacy which opens us to speak with Jesus  strengthens in us the desire to follow Him coming out of the labyrinths of wrong paths abandoning selfish behaviour to set out on the new paths of brotherhood and the gift of ourselves in imitation of Him.

Don't forget that Jesus is the one Pastor who speaks, who knows, who gives life eternal and who guards us. We are the one flock. We are strengthened by listening to his voice in the sincerity of our hearts, and we continue this intimacy with our pastors. This helps us to enter into the fullness of life eternal.

Let us turn now to the mother of Christ the Good Shepherd. May she who responded promptly to Gods call help in particular those called to the priesthood and to consecrated life to accept with joy the availability of Christ's invitation to be His most direct collaborators in the proclamation of the Gopel and the service of Gods kingdom in our time.