By Domenico Agasso Jr
Vatican City: Priests are called to be examples, not “lords, or State clerics”.
They must be the firsts to serve the other, and not there to make a career out of priesthood. This was Pope Francis’ core message during the Mass he presided over on May 7, 2017, in the Basilica of Saint Peter during which he ordered ten new priests.
In his homily, the bishop of Rome noted that the newly ordered priests “have been elected by the Lord Jesus not to make their own way, but to do this [priestly] service.”
The Pope asked them to “Preach in a simple way as Our Lord spoke, who reached hearts, don’t give homilies that are too intellectual, speak plainly, speak to the hearts, with joy and support to the faithful of Christ, be example, for the word without example does not work, it’s better to go back.”
Then once again the Pope renewed his warning against leading a “double life”), which – he pointed out “is a bad illness in the Church.” He added: “The priest who has perhaps studied much theology and has achieved one or two or three advanced degrees, but has not learned to carry the Cross of Christ, is useless: he will be a good academic, a good professor, but not a priest.”
The Pope again broke from the prepared text to say, “Please, I ask you in the name of Christ and of the Church to be merciful, always: do not load the faithful with burdens they cannot carry. Jesus rebuked the doctors of the law for this, and called them hypocrites.”
Among his recommendations, Francis pointed out that “one of the task, perhaps boring and painful, is to go to visit the sick. Do it, all of you. Yes, it is good that the lay faithful and deacons do it, but do not forget to touch the flesh of the suffering Christ in the sick: this sanctifies you, it brings you closer to Christ.”
Pope exhorted to be “Be joyful, never sad, with the joy of Christ’s service, even in the midst of suffering, misunderstanding, [even] one’s own sins.
And please, “do not be ‘lords’, do not be ‘State Clerics’, but shepherds, pastors of the People of God.”
He reiterated the point of not making “homilies that are too intellectual and elaborate. Speak simple, speak to the hearts and the sermon will become true nourishment.”