Pope: Carry out ministry with the attitude of Jesus the shepherd

Reflection on the Word of the Pope during the evening prayer offered at the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Quebec on July 28 with bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated persons, seminary students and lay ministers.

C. Roubini CTC, Vatican News

In 1663, the first bishop of the Church of Canada, V. Pope Francis began his homily by recalling the importance of being able to come together at the Basilica of Notre Dame de Quesac, home of François de Laval. Take care of God’s sheep. The Holy Father addressed the community of bishops, priests, consecrated persons, seminary students and pastoral servants, inspired by the reading requested by Peter (1 Peter 5,2).

Ministry with the spirit of Jesus the Shepherd

The Pope said that the shepherds of the Church must have the attitude of Christ the shepherd and take care of the people of God entrusted to them, because we are the sign of Christ who leads them. The Pope reminded the community to lead and not stumble and take care of them with dedication and compassion. Therefore, it should be done with the heart of a shepherd, not as professional religious workers or holy officials. The Pope explained by quoting the words of Peter.

Christian joy

The joy of ministry and above all faith is not money, comfort and security but God is always with us. Christian joy is the experience of peace in our hearts, knowing that we are not alone in our trials and tribulations, and that a God who is not indifferent to our condition is with us. The Pope explained that true Christian happiness is that we are loved and supported in all situations of life. So the Pope called us to examine whether the Church expresses the joy of the Gospel, whether there is a faith in our communities that is attracted by the joy they share. To get to the root of this question, Pope Francis said, we need to reflect on what threatens the joy of faith in today’s world, and thus erodes and compromises our life as Christians.

Two views of the world

Secularization, which pushes God to the background, has significantly influenced the way of life of today’s man. God and God’s Word no longer determine the direction of our lives, our basic decisions and social relationships. Here the Pope spoke of two possible views of the world.

1. Negative view

Negative view Pope said it is a view born from the feeling that faith is under attack and from the thought that faith is a shield that saves us from the world. The Pope revealed the danger of putting on a “crusading attitude” by thinking that the world is evil and full of sin. John says that this is not Christianity, nor is it God’s way. The Pope pointed out by quoting verses 3 and 16. The Lord, who hates worldliness, has a positive view of the world. The Pope reminded us that if we confine ourselves to a negative perspective, we will join in denying the incarnation and run away from realities without letting them incarnate in us.

2. Discrimination perspective

Discerning perspective is what we are called to, like God’s perspective, which discerns what is good and continually seeks and nurtures it. This is not a naive view but a reality-recognizing view.

V. Recalling the words of Paul VI, the Pope spoke about secularization and secularism and the difference between them, saying that secularization is not incompatible with faith or religion, but that in secularism, God is completely separated from creation and creates a new type of atheistic argument that makes God unnecessary and burdensome. Proclaiming the Gospel 55 and explained by quoting. He specifically indicated that we as the church and above all as shepherds of God’s people should discern these differences.

The Pope said that it is not the faith, but the forms and methods of presenting the faith that are in crisis, so the Pope also recalled the words of Charles Taylor that secularization is an opportunity for our pastoral conceptions to maintain the spiritual life in new forms and new ways. Such a discerning perspective will help us to develop a new passion for evangelization, seek new languages ​​and expressions, change some pastoral priorities, and focus on the essentials, while acknowledging our difficulties in imparting the joy of faith. Papa explained.

Evangelism through testimony

The Pope said that the joy of faith can be imparted to the men and women of today when the preaching of the Gospel is through witness rather than words. We must bear witness to God’s free love for us. Here the Holy Father spoke of three challenges that can shape our prayer and pastoral service.

1. Report to Jesus

Communicating the heart of the Gospel to those who have not yet met Jesus in new ways requires pastoral creativity to reach where people live, listen to them and meet them. We must go back to the early evangelism and find the enthusiasm found in the work of the apostles. We must return to the conviction that we are today’s instruments filled with the fruits of the Spirit.

2. testimony

We can preach the gospel only if we are trustworthy. The Pope said that the Gospel is effectively proclaimed when it speaks with life. Wounded and destroyed by some of her children, the Church in Canada today is turning in a new direction. The pain and shame from it should be an opportunity for a conversion. The Holy Father reminded that the Christian community must never again fall prey to the evil of thinking that one culture is superior to others. The Pope said that we must start with ourselves to defeat such a culture of exclusion, that bishops and priests should not think that they are superior to their brothers and sisters in the people of God, and that those who engage in pastoral work should not regard service as authority.

3. Fraternity

The third challenge that the Pope put forward is fraternity. The Pope explained that the more unity the members of the Church assimilate, the more the Church has faith. People of faith should be welcomed, listened to, engaged in dialogue and foster good relationships. V. The Pope said, quoting François de Laval’s advice to missionaries that “often a bad word, an unforgiving gesture or a hateful look is enough to lose in an instant all that has been gained over a long period of time”.

The Pope emphasized on life in a Christian community which is a school of humanity. The call of the Church is to be the embodiment of boundless love to realize God’s dream for mankind. So the Pope called to ask whether we are brothers or contestants in various parties. What is our relationship with those who do not belong to us? The Pope pointed out that our way is to establish a relationship of brotherhood with all.

The inescapable power of the Holy Spirit

These are just a few challenges, but the Pope reminded us that we need the strength of the Spirit to face them. Therefore, it is very important to ask for the help of the Holy Spirit in prayer. Let us not allow the spirit of secularism to enter into our midst, thinking that apart from God, we can create plans that work automatically only through human effort. The Pope urged us not to close ourselves off by looking back but to move forward with joy. V. The Holy Father concluded his homily with a prayer of hope for François de Laval.

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