05/12/2019, 12.38
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Pope: Drawing people to Jesus, even those who are looking for him, without knowing it

Good Shepherd Sunday, Pope Francis invites two new priests - among the 19 he has just ordained - to bless the people with him from the window of the apostolic palace.  The Good Shepherd "speaks, knows, gives eternal life, safeguards".  The sheep "listen to my voice", "follow me".  A round of applause for all mothers on Mother's Day.


Vatican City (AsiaNews) -  In order to draw "those people to him [Jesus] who are looking for him, but perhaps without knowing it", it is important "to live our relationship with Christ with full confidence and familiarity,"  said Pope Francis in his reflection before the Regina Caeli, the Marian prayer of Easter time. 

Speaking to the tens of thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the pontiff emphasized: "There are so many people that only God knows in their hearts, and who are already his 'sheep', but they need a brother, a sister to lead them to Jesus Christ.  Being able to do this is a great grace and a great joy! ".

Precisely this Sunday, called "Good Shepherd Sunday", the Gospel of the Mass highlights the figure of Jesus as the Good Shepherd (Jn 10.27-30), and the Church celebrates the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.  Marking this occasion, this morning in St. Peter's, Pope Francis ordained 19 new priests.  After the Marian prayer, the Pope greeted "with affection these new presbyters together with their family and friends" and invited them "to remember how many the Lord continues to call by name, as he did one day with the Apostles on the lake shore  of Galilee, so that they may become 'fishers of men' ”.  And to celebrate the new priests, he invited two of them to give the blessing next to him, from the window of the apostolic palace.

Previously, explaining the Gospel, Francis highlighted the verbs, which define "Jesus' work" as a shepherd: "He speaks, knows, gives eternal life, safeguards".  And he continued: "The Good Shepherd - Jesus - is attentive to each one of us, seeks us and loves us, addressing his word to us, knowing our heart, our desires and our hopes, as well as our failures and  our disappointments.  He welcomes us and loves us as we are, with our strengths and our faults.  For each of us he "gives eternal life": that is, he offers us the possibility of living a full life, without end.  Moreover, he keeps us and guides us with love, helping us to cross the impassable paths and the sometimes risky roads that appear on the path of life ".

 "To the verbs and gestures that describe the way in which Jesus, the Good Shepherd, relates to us, the verbs concerning the sheep correspond:" they listen to my voice "," follow me ".  These are actions that show how we must correspond to the tender and caring attitudes of the Lord.  In fact, listening to and recognizing his voice implies intimacy with him, which is consolidated in prayer, in the heart to heart encounter with the divine Master and Pastor of our souls.  This intimacy strengthens in us the desire to follow him, leaving the labyrinth of wrong paths, abandoning selfish behaviors, to set out on the new paths of fraternity and the gift of ourselves, in imitation of Him ”.

Immediately after the Marian prayer, Francis wanted to greet all the mothers, given that today Mother's Day is celebrated in many countries .  "I would - he said - send a warm greeting to all the mothers,

A round of applause to the mothers.  To all.  And we thank them for their precious work in raising children and protecting the value of the family.  We also remember the mothers who look at us from the sky and continue to watch over us with prayer.  Our thoughts also go to our celestial Mother, whom we will celebrate tomorrow May 13th, with the name of Our Lady of Fatima.  We entrust ourselves to her to continue our journey with joy and generosity ”.

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