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    » 04/26/2015, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Pope prays for Nepal quake victims, hopes they receive "fraternal solidarity"



    A good shepherd is like Christ, someone who “is a guide, who participates in the life of His flock. He pursues no other interests, for He has no other ambition but to lead, nurture and protect his sheep. All of this comes at the highest price, that of the sacrifice of His own life.” When the pope met the crowd at the window of his study, two new priests stood by his side.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Pope has been praying for victims of yesterday’s earthquake in Nepal, calling for help for stricken country.

    The Holy Father had already expressed his closeness to the people affected by the quake in a telegram sent by Vatican Secretary of State Card Pietro Parolin to Mgr Paul Simick, apostolic vicar of Nepal.

    Today, after the Regina Coeli, the pontiff reiterated his “closeness to people affected by a strong earthquake in Nepal and neighbouring countries. I pray for the victims, for the wounded and for all who suffer because of this disaster. May they receive the support of fraternal solidarity. Let us pray to Our Lady who is close to them.”

    Before the Marian prayer, Francis spoke before a crowd of some 70,000 people in St Peter's Square, about the ordination of new priests that had just taken place inside the basilica. In doing so, he stressed the importance of the Good Shepherd, who “is not motivated by any necessity, nor [. . .] any forethought, or drawn to any interested quid pro quo”.

    For the Holy Father, “In particular, those who have a leadership mission in the Church – priests, bishops, popes – are called not to take a ‘managerial’ mind-set; instead, they must act like servants, in imitation of Jesus who, stripping himself, saved us with His mercy.”

    Standing at the window of his study, Francis with two of the new priests by his side blessed the crowd.

    “Each year, on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, known as ‘Good Shepherd Sunday,’ we are invited to rediscover, with greater wonder, the definition Jesus gave of Himself, reading anew in light of His Passion, Death and Resurrection.

    “‘The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep’ (Jn 10:11), words that came true when Christ fully, and freely obeying the will of the Father, sacrificed himself on the Cross. Thus, the meaning of his being ‘the Good Shepherd’ becomes clear. He gives life, He offered His life as a sacrifice for all of us: for you, for you, for you, for me, for everyone! For this reason, he is the good shepherd!

    “Christ is the true shepherd, the one who realises the highest form of love for the flock. He freely laid down His own life. No one will take it from him (cf. v. 18); he gives it on behalf of the sheep (v. 17). In open opposition to false shepherds, Jesus presents himself as the only true shepherd of the people. The bad shepherd thinks about himself and uses the sheep. The good shepherd thinks about the sheep and gives himself. Unlike the mercenary, Christ the Shepherd is a caring guide, who participates in the life of His flock. He pursues no other interests, for He has no other ambition but to lead, nurture and protect his sheep. All of this comes at the highest price, that of the sacrifice of His own life.

    “In the figure of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, we contemplate God's providence, His paternal concern for each of us. The consequence of such contemplation of Jesus, a true and good Shepherd, is the moving astonishment found in the Second Reading in today's Liturgy: "See what love the Father has bestowed on us . . ." (Jn, 3:1)

    “This is a really surprising and mysterious form of love, because, in giving us Jesus as the Shepherd who gives His life for us, the Father gave us the greatest and most valuable thing he could possibly give us! It is the highest and purest form of love because it is not motivated by any necessity, nor is it conditioned by any forethought, or drawn to any interested quid pro quo. Faced with God’s love, we feel great joy and open up to gratitude for what we have received for free.

    However, “it is not enough to contemplate and give thanks. One should also follow the Good Shepherd. In particular, those who have a leadership mission in the Church – priests, bishops, popes – are called not to take a ‘managerial’ mind-set; instead, they must act like servants, in imitation of Jesus who, stripping himself, saved us with His mercy.

    “The new priests of the Diocese of Rome, whom I have had the joy of ordaining this morning in St Peter's Basilica, are also called to the pastoral lifestyle of the Good Shepherd. Two of them will appear [at the window] to greet you and thank you for your prayers.

    Lastly, “May the Most Holy Mary attain for me, the bishops and the priests of the whole world the grace to serve the holy people of God through the joyful proclamation of the Gospel, the heartfelt celebration of the sacraments and the exercise of patient and mild pastoral leadership.”

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    See also

    07/12/2015 VATICAN
    Pope: vocations are born in the Church, grow in the Church, are sustained by the Church
    In the message for the next 53th World Day for Vocations, Francis urges "all the faithful to assume their responsibility for the care and discernment of vocations", as "the call of God by means of a mediation which is communal. God calls us to become a part of the Church and, after we have reached a certain maturity within it, he bestows on us a specific vocation".

    11/05/2014 VATICAN
    Pope: Like calves, bother your pastors so they give you the milk of grace, doctrine and guidance
    Quoting St. Caesarius of Arles, Pope Francis advises the faithful to be like “calves” fussing at the cow’s udder for milk. A reminder and a prayer for all mothers on Mother's Day. Greetings for the Neocatechumenal communities, in their efforts to bring "the proclamation of the risen Jesus to 100 squares across Rome and in many cities around the world". Before the Regina Caeli, the Pope ordained 13 new priests, of various nationalities: Italian, Latin American, Pakistani, Vietnamese and Korean and he urges them to be “filled with mercy”.

    01/02/2016 15:55:00 VATICAN
    Pope: consecrated life is prophecy, proximity and hope

    In an unscripted address to the participants in the Year of Consecrated Life, Francis condemns "terrorism of gossip", says obedience is not a "discipline", but "gift of the heart", like that of Jesus, that true hope is not found in money but only in the Lord, and appeals for prayer for the gift of new vocations, so that as communities get older, they avoid  "artificial insemination", that is, welcoming candidates without ‘serious’ consideration.



    21/04/2013 VATICAN
    Pope ordains 10 new priests, "build the house of God, which is the Church, with word and deed"
    On the Day of Prayer for Vocations, Francis says that "sometimes Jesus calls us, invites us to follow him, but it may happen that we do not realize that it is Him". An invitation to pray "for the victims and for those who are suffering because of the violent earthquake" in China and "for reconciliation and peace" in Venezuela.

    18/06/2007 VATICAN
    Pope to youth: be, like Francis, in love with Christ and history’s protagonists
    The full version of Benedict XVI’s address to over 25 thousand young people gathered at St. Mary of the Angels.



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