21 February 2018
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  • » 01/30/2018, 13.25


    Pope: like Jesus, the true shepherd 'throws himself into people’s midst' with tenderness

    The pastor who, like Jesus, "ends his weary day", tired of "doing good" will make the people feel the presence of God. "The pastor must be anointed with oil, the day of his ordination: priestly and episcopal . But the real oil, the inner oil, is the oil of closeness and tenderness ".

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Jesus with his behavior shows us  the attitudes that a true pastor must have: closeness to the people and tenderness, said Pope Francis at mass this morning in Santa Marta. Pope Francis took his cue from the day’s Gospel according to Mark, which indicates “a day in the life of Jesus”.The two healing stories recounted by Mark need “to be contemplated more than reflected upon”, he said, since they are a model for shepherd, bishops, and priests.

    The Evangelist describes Jesus as being surrounded by a large crowd on the seashore. Pope Francis said Jesus is shown caring for the people, exactly in the manner God had promised, that is, “being in their midst”. “Jesus did not open an office for spiritual counseling with a sign reading: ‘The prophet receives on Monday and Friday from 3:00 until 6:00 PM. Entry costs this much, or if you prefer, you can make an offering.’ No, Jesus does not do that. He doesn’t even open a medical office with a sign reading: ‘The sick may come on such-and-such day, and they will be healed’. Jesus throws himself in the midst of the people.” Pope Francis said this is “the example of a shepherd that Jesus gives us”. He also told a story about a holy priest who accompanied his people. The Pope said this man was tired in the evenings but that it was a “real tiredness” of “one who truly works” with people.

    The Holy Father said the Gospel also describes Jesus as being “pressed upon” by the crowd. He said this Greek verb occurs five times in Mark’s Gospel, underlining how people do the same today during pastoral visits so as to “grab grace”. Jesus, he said, never retreats from this closeness but even pays for his good actions with “shame and mockery”. These are the “outlines of Jesus’ way of acting”, said Pope Francis, and therefore show “the attitude of a true shepherd”. “The shepherd is anointed with oil on the day of his ordination: both priests and bishops. But the true oil – the interior oil – is the oil of closeness and tenderness. The shepherd who doesn’t know how to get close [to people] is lacking something. He may be a master in the field, but he is no shepherd. A shepherd who lacks tenderness will be rigid, beating the sheep. Closeness and tenderness are seen here. That’s how Jesus was.”

    Pope Francis went on to say that the shepherd, like Jesus, “ends his day tired”, tired from doing good. If this is his attitude, he said, the people will feel the presence of the living God. This became the Holy Father’s prayer for the day.“Today we could pray during this Mass for our shepherds, that the Lord give them the grace to walk with the people and to be present for them with much tenderness and closeness. When the people finds its shepherd, they feel that special sensation only felt in the presence of God, as today’s Gospel ends: “they were utterly astounded.” This amazement [comes from] feeling the closeness and the tenderness of God in the shepherd.”

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    See also

    22/04/2013 VATICAN
    Pope: even in Christian communities there are "climbers" who are "thieves and robbers"
    Commenting on the parable of the Good Shepherd at Mass this morning, Francis recalls that "the gate is Jesus." "I am not a fundamentalist," this is the Gospel of the Beatitudes that tells us to be humble, poor, meek, just.

    07/05/2017 15:18:00 VATICAN
    Pope: Christ, the Good Shepherd, has become the gate to humanity’s salvation because he has offered his life for his sheep

    Before the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis explained the symbols of today's Gospel. Jesus "is a leader whose authority is expressed in the service [. . .] Once can trust such a leader." He is a " a friendly, strong and sweet presence, who leads, protects, consoles, and heals." Too often we leave "spiritual and affective dimension" in the shadow. May Christ sustain "all those who are called by Him, so that they may be ready and generous in following His voice.” Seven martyrs of the Spanish Civil War were beatified yesterday. The pontiff calls on the faithful to pray the rosary in May "for peace, as the Virgin asked in Fatima."

    07/05/2017 13:42:00 VATICAN
    Pope tells ten new priests that they were elected by the Lord, not for a career, but for service

    On the World day of prayer for vocations, Pope Francis ordained ten young men from diocesan seminaries in Rome, aged 26 to 38, including one from Asia (Azerbaijan). The ritual homily was dotted with sometime scathing impromptu comments. "Do not give homilies that are too intellectual or elaborate; speak in a simply manner,” he said. “A dual life is a bad disease in the Church." Instead, “Be joyful, in the joy of Christ's service, even in the midst of suffering, misunderstanding, and one’s own sins." And “Do not be masters, state clergy, but shepherds of the people of God."

    26/06/2014 VATICAN
    Pope: Jesus, a shepherd who reached the people and warmed their heart
    In his homily this morning, Francis looks at four groups who were influential at the time of the Jesus: the Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots and Essenes. None of them could speak to the people. Jesus, however, could and was followed by crowds because "they were astonished at his teaching," and " gave their hearts to the wonder and amazement to find something good, great." The others "talked, but did not reach the people."

    30/10/2017 14:13:00 VATICAN
    Pope: The good shepherd is close to the people, he is moved by them

    "The greatest shepherd, the Father, taught us how to be a good shepherd: he lowered Himself, emptied himself, abased Himself, took on servant status. "But, and these others, those who follow the path of clericalism, who do they draw near to?" They draw near to those in power or money or influence. And they are the bad shepherds. "

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