Vatican City ( AsiaNews ) - The
Church cannot be understood or explained without the anointing that gives
bishops and priests the power of the Spirit, through which "many gave strength
to the people, transmitted
doctrine, bestowed the sacraments, in short holiness".
The meaning and value of the
anointing, which binds bishops and priests to the Lord and gives them the joy
and strength "to lead people, to help people, to live at the service of people",
even if they are sinners, was the focus of Pope Francis' homily during the Mass
this morning at Casa Santa Marta.
Vatican Radio reports that the
Pope reflected on the first reading of the day which speaks of the tribes of
Israel who anointed David as their king. "Without
this anointing - he observed - David would have been only the head" of
"a society", of a "political society, which was the Kingdom of Israel",
he would have been a mere "political organizer" . Instead,
"after the anointing, the Spirit of the Lord" descends upon David and
stays with him. And
the Scripture says, "David grew steadily more powerful, and the Lord God
of hosts was with him". "This is the
exact difference of anointing". "The
bishops are elected not only to manage an organization, which is called the
particular Church, they are anointed, they have been anointed with the Spirit
of the Lord. But all bishops, all of us, we are all sinners! But we are all anointed...all
of us want to be holier every day, more faithful to this anointing. And what makes
the Church particular, what gives unity to the Church, is the person of the
bishop, in the name of Jesus Christ, because he is anointed, not because
he was voted by a majority. Because he is anointed. And the strength of a
particular church lies in this anointing. And in participation priests too are
The anointing binds the bishops
and priests to the Lord and gives them the joy and strength "to lead a
people, to help people, to live at the service of the people". It
gifts them the joy of being "chosen by the Lord, watched by the Lord, with
that love with which the Lord looks upon us, all of us". Thus,
"when we think of the bishops and priests, we must think of them as
follows: the anointed ones".
"On the contrary, the Church
cannot be understood or explained, it cannot survive by human strength alone. This
diocese survives because it has a holy people, so many things, and also an
anointed one who
leads it and helps it to grow. This parish survives because it has many
organizations, so many things, but also a priest, an anointed one who leads it.
And down through history we only know a minimal part, how many holy bishops,
how many priests, how many holy priests who have spent their lives at the
service of the diocese, the parish , how many people have received the power of
faith , the power of love, hope from these anonymous pastors, of whom we know
nothing. There are so many!".
There are many "country priests
and city priests, who with their anointing, have given strength to the people,
have transmitted the doctrine, bestowed the sacraments, which is holiness".
Father, I read in a newspaper that a bishop did this thing, or a priest did
that thing'. 'Oh yes, I read it too, but answer me this, do the newspapers also
speak of the many priests, so many priests in many parishes of the city and the
countryside, who do so much charity, who work so hard to lead their people
forward?' . Oh no this is not news. No, its always the same: a falling tree
makes more noise than a growing forest. Today, as we think about this anointing
of David, it would do us good to think of our brave, holy, good, faithful bishops
and priests, and pray for them. Thanks to them we are here today".