At today’s Regina Coeli Francis remembered all the mums celebrating Mother’s Day “entrusting them to the Madonna of Jesus”. Today the Pope also ordained thirteen priests, urging them to have “mercy, and a lot of it”
Domenico Agasso jr Taken from Vatican Insider
“Once I read a beautiful thing about how the people of God help the Bishops and the priests to be good pastors. It is a writing of St Caesarius of Arles, a father of the first ages of the Church. And he explained how the people of God should help the pastor, and he gave this example: when the calf is hungry, it goes to the cow, to the mother, and takes the milk. But the cow does not give it right away: it seems that she keeps it for herself. And what does the calf do? It knocks with its nose against the cow’s udder, so that the milk comes. It’s a beautiful image! That, the saint says, is how you should be with the pastors: knocking always at their doors, at their hearts, so that they will give you the milk of doctrine, the milk of grace, the milk of guidance. And I ask you, please, bother (in Italian importunare = importune, Ed.) the pastors, disturb the pastors, all of us pastors, so that we will give you the milk of grace, of doctrine, and of guidance. Pope Francis said this as he presented the evangelical figure of Jesus the Good Shepherd to the approximately 100 thousand faithful gathered for the recitation of the Regina Coeli in St. Peter’s Square.
“Many today, as in Jesus’ time, are proposed as “shepherds” of our existence; but only the Risen Christ is the true Shepherd, who gives us life in abundance. I invite everyone to trust in the Lord to guide us. But He doesn’t just guide us, He accompanies us, He walks with us. Let us listen with open mind and heart to His Word, to feed our faith, to illuminate our conscience, and to follow the teachings of the Gospel,” the Pope urged.
The Pope recalled that “this Sunday marks World Day of Prayer for Vocations.” He asked faithful to pray for the vocations, for the young men he ordained this morning in St. Peter’s Square, raising waves of applause and for all shepherds, including the Bishop of Rome. He then stressed that shepherds must walk in front of their flock, in the midst of it or behind it according to the flock’s needs. The Pope recalled that “in this year’s message I stated that “every vocation… always requires an exodus from oneself in order to centre one’s life on Christ and on His Gospel.”
Pope Francis then warned: “We pray that in this time, so many young people might hear the voice of the Lord, which is always in danger of being suffocated by so many other voices. Let us pray for the young people – perhaps here in the Piazza there is someone who has heard this voice of the Lord that is calling him to the priesthood. Let us pray for him if he is here, and for all the young people that are like that.”
Francis reminded his audience that “the call to follow Jesus is both exciting and challenging. So one must realize it is always necessary to enter into a profound friendship with the Lord to be able live in Him and for Him.”
Francis invited faithful to entrust their prayers and intentions to the Virgin Mary, mother of all vocations, revived by the joy of Easter and their faith in the Risen Jesus, so that she may inspire and support many vocations in service of the Church and the world through her intercession. “Perhaps here in the Piazza there is someone who has heard this voice of the Lord that is calling him to the priesthood. Let us pray for him if he is here, and for all the young people that are like that.”
“Today I invite you to dedicate a good memory and a prayer for all mothers. We greet the mothers. Entrusting them to the Madonna of Jesus, for our mothers and for all mothers, we pray to the Madonna,” Francis said.
About an hour or so before this, Francis ordained thirteen new priests – six Italians, four Latin Americans, one Pakistani, one Southern Korean and one Vietnamese priest – in St. Peter’s Basilica. “never tire of being merciful,” he urged them, asking them to always show forgiveness and underlining that the Lord did not come to condemn but to forgive. He stressed that priests are not “masters of doctrine” but must be faithful to it. Francis described the pain he feels when he hears of people that no longer go to confession because they fear being told off; they felt the church was slamming the door in their face. “Please don’t do this,” Francis urged priests, stressing the importance of mercy.
“Have mercy and a lot of it,” Francis said in his homily. If you feel you are being too forgiving, think of that holy priest I told you about, who went in front of the tabernacle and said: “Lord forgive me if I have been too forgiving, but it was you who set a bad example,” the Pope said speaking off the cuff.
“Remember what St. Augustine said about shepherds who tried to please themselves, using the Lord’s sheep to clothe themselves in luxury, to wear the grandeur of a ministry they did not know was God’s or not,” Francis added, again, off the cuff. A priest’s task is to “unite faithful in one big family,” the Pope stressed.