12/09/2016, 14.30
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Pope: Priests should not be "officials", or worldly or "intermediaries" of God's love

The authentic priest "is a mediator very close to his people," an official instead just does his job, but then moves onto another "always as an official", "he does not know what it means to get his hands dirty" be in the midst of reality. And that is why when "the priest changes from official to intermediary he is not happy, he is sad." And looks for a little bit of happiness "in being seen, making his authority felt".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The priest must be a mediator and not "intermediary" of God's love, thinking about  his own interests.   He must not be an "official" which "ends in the ridiculous, always", but know how to smile and play as a child .

This was the Pope’s warning at Mass this morning in Santa Marta, inspired by the words of Jesus in today's Gospel, which emphasize the dissatisfaction of the people, never happy, to speak of "rigid" priests that load things on the faithful rather than carry the burden themselves or who are tempted by high society.

Even today, he noted, "there are unsatisfied Christians - many - who cannot understand what the Lord has taught us, cannot understand their own core of the revelation of the Gospel". And there are "dissatisfied" that are "bad priests”. They live dissatisfied lives always looking for new projects, "because their hearts are far from the logic of Jesus" and therefore "they complain or live miserably."

Instead the logic of Jesus should instead give "full satisfaction" to a priest. "It is the logic of the mediator". "Jesus is the mediator between God and us. And we must take this path of mediators "," not the other figure that is very similar in appearance but is not the same: intermediaries. " The intermediary, in fact, "does the job and takes the pay", "he never loses."

"The mediator loses himself to unite the parties, the giver of life, itself, the price is: his life, paying with his live, fatigue, work, so many things, but - in this case the pastor - to join the flock, to unite people, to bring them to Jesus. The logic of Jesus as mediator is the logic of self-annihilation. St. Paul in his Letter to the Philippians is clear on this: 'emptied himself, emptied himself' but to make this union until death, death on a cross. That is the logic: to empty, annihilate ".

The authentic priest, he added, "is a mediator very close to his people," the intermediary instead does his job but then it takes another "always as an official", "he does not know what it means to get his hands dirty" in the midst of reality. And that is why when "the priest changes from official to intermediary he is not happy, he is sad." And looks for a little bit of happiness "in being seen, making his authority felt”.

"Jesus said that intermediaries liked to walk the streets" to be seen and honored. "But to make themselves important, priests intermediaries must take the path of rigidity so often disconnected from the people, they do not know what human suffering is.  They lose what they had learned at home, with the Father's work, mom, grandfather, grandmother, brothers ... They lose these things. They are rigid, those rigid that load upon the faithful so many things, that they do not do themselves, as Jesus said to the intermediaries of his time. Rigidity. Whip in hand with the people of God: 'This can not be, this can not be ...'. And so many people approach looking for a bit 'of consolation, a little' understanding but are chased away with this rigidity. " However some people can remain rigid  "a long time, totally. And basically it is schizoid: You look hard but inside you are a disaster. "

And with rigidity, worldliness. "A worldly priest, is unhappy because he has taken the wrong way." "Regarding this rigidity and high society, an elderly monsignor of the curia came to me long ago. A man, who works, a normal man, a good man, in love with Jesus and he told me that he had gone to buy a couple of Euroclero shirts and saw a boy in the mirror - he thinks no more than 25 years, a young priest or (he was) about to become a priest – in front of the mirror, with a cape, large, wide, with velvet, a silver chain. He then took the 'Saturn' [wide brined hat], he put it on and looked. A rigid society. And that priest – he was a wise man that monsignor, very wise - was able to overcome the pain, with a line of healthy humor and added: 'And they say that the Church does not allow women priests!'. So that the work that the priest does when he becomes official in the end is ridiculous, always. "

"When you carry out your examination of conscience - the Pope invited - consider this: today was I an official or mediator? Did I guard myself, my comfort, my order or did I let the day go to the service of others? ". I guarded myself, my comfort, my order or Did I let the day go to the service of others? ". Once, he said, a person  "said that he recognized priests by their attitude with the children: if they know how to caress a child, smile at a child play with a baby ... It 's interesting because it means that they know how to lower themselves, approach the little things. " Instead "the intermediary is sad, always with that sad face or too serious, dark face. The intermediary has dark eyes, very dark! The mediator is open: He can smile, has warmth, understanding, can caresses ".

Francis then proposed three "icons" of "mediators and not intermediaries priests". The first is the "great" Polycarp who "did not negotiate his vocation and was courageous unto the pyre, and when the fire is around him, the faithful who were there, they smelled the odor of bread." "This is the end of a mediator: He becomes a piece of bread for his faithful." The other icon is St. Francis Xavier, who died young on the beach of San-cian, "watching China" where he wanted to go, but could not because the Lord took him for Himself. And then, the last icon: the old St. Paul at the Three Fountains. "Early that morning the soldiers came to him, they got him, and he walked bent". He knew that that was because of the treachery of some in the Christian community but he struggled so much, so much in his life, which he offered to the Lord as a sacrifice. " "Three icons - he concluded - that can help us. Look there: how do I want to end my life as a priest? As an official, as an intermediary or as a mediator, that is, on the cross? "

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