On Sunday, July 7, Pope Francis celebrated Mass before 6000 seminarians and novices who have been on a 4-day pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter, reflecting on their call from God and their vocation.
The Holy Father described the three reference points to the missionary call, part of his reflection on the Sunday readings.
First: the joy of consolation. “If we first experience the joy of being consoled by Him, of being loved by Him, then we can bring that joy to others. This is important if our mission is to be fruitful: to feel God’s consolation and to pass it on to others!”
Second: the Cross of Christ. “The fruitfulness of the Gospel proclamation is measured neither by success nor by failure according to the criteria of human evaluation, but by becoming conformed to the logic of the Cross of Jesus, which is the logic of stepping outside oneself and spending oneself, the logic of love. It is the Cross – the Cross that is always present with Christ – which guarantees the fruitfulness of our mission.”
Third: Prayer. “If the Apostle is born of prayer, he finds in prayer the light and strength for his action. Our mission ceases to bear fruit, indeed, it is extinguished the moment the link with its source, with the Lord, is interrupted.”
The spread of the Gospel is not guaranteed either by the number of persons, or by the prestige of the institution, or by the quantity of available resources. What counts is to be permeated by the love of Christ, to let oneself be led by the Holy Spirit and to graft one’s own life onto the tree of life, which is the Lord’s Cross.
To see the complete text, visit the Vatican News website.
We invoke the intercession of the Virgin Mary,
that she may accompany us during Holy Week.
May she, who followed her Son with faith all the way to Calvary,
help us to walk behind Him, carrying His cross with serenity and love,
so as to attain the joy of Easter.
Pope Francis I
“I am very happy that a Latin American has been elected. We know the hopes that it would have been someone from the continent that has the majority of Catholics [in the world],” were the first words of Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, commenting on the election of the new Pope to reporters.
“The choice of the name Francis is very meaningful,” he said. “It is a name that has never been chosen before and evokes simplicity and an evangelical witness. His first, simple appearance in public testifies to both. It is a sign of great spirituality to ask the people’s blessing for him before giving his own. It is a spirituality that recalls that of his predecessor. His pastoral sense of relationship with the Diocese of Rome should also be noted. It is the Pope’s diocese and [he chose] to pray the Church’s simplest prayers with the People of God at a moment like this.”
“Cardinal Bergoglio,” he added, “is a Jesuit. Jesuits are characterized by their service to the Church, collecting all the charisms that the Lord gives us wherever they are needed, but trying to avoid positions of power. For me this election takes on the meaning of a call to server, a strong call and not a quest for power or authority. I am absolutely convinced that we have a Pope who wants to serve. His election was the election of a rejection of power.”
Thanks to Vatican Information Service (13-3-2013) for providing this commentary. Click here to go to the Vatican website for a collage of pictures from that historic night.