Home »

The world will end with peace, not annihilation, Pope Francis says

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Believing in eternity and in the final establishment of the kingdom of God, Christians throughout history, starting with the disciples, were filled with questions such as when the end will come and what will happen to the created world, Pope Francis said.

No one knows the answer to those questions, the pope said Nov. 26 at his weekly general audience, but Catholics are convinced that the end of time will not bring the “annihilation of the cosmos and of everything around us.”

An usher holds a baby after Pope Francis kissed her as he left the general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 26. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

An usher holds a baby after Pope Francis kissed her as he left the general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Nov. 26. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

God’s plan, he said, is to renew everything in Christ and “bring everything to its fullness of being, truth and beauty.”

A few thousand people gathered under umbrellas in St. Peter’s Square for the rainy Wednesday audience; Pope Francis thanked them for braving the weather and promised, “we will pray together.”

Continuing a series of audience talks about the church, Pope Francis spoke about the place of the church in the world to come, and how Christians can make sure they and their loved ones will be part of it.

While the human imagination struggles to picture what the kingdom of God will be like, he said, people can be sure that everything “deformed by sin” will pass away. Quoting the Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, he said, “God is preparing a new dwelling place and a new earth where justice will abide, and whose blessedness will answer and surpass all the longings for peace which spring up in the human heart.”

“This is where the church is heading,” he said. “More than a place, it is a state of the soul where our deepest aspirations will be fulfilled with abundance.”

At the end of time, he said, “we will be face to face” with God. “It’s beautiful to think about this, isn’t it, to think about heaven. All of us will be there, all of us. It’s beautiful and gives us strength.”

The communion of the church cannot be broken by death and will only be stronger at the end of time, he said. “It is a deep communion between the church in heaven and that still journeying on earth. Those who already are living in the presence of God, in fact, can support, intercede and pray for us.”

And, Christians on earth, he said, “are called to offer good works, prayers and the (celebration of the) Eucharist to alleviate the tribulation of the souls still awaiting blessedness without end.”

The prayers for those in purgatory, the pope said, make sense because from a Catholic point of view, “the distinction is not between those who have died and those who have not yet, but between those who are in Christ and those who are not. This is the decisive element for our salvation and happiness.”

At the end of the audience, Pope Francis told people he would be making a trip to Turkey Nov. 28-30 to meet government officials, Muslim leaders and, especially, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. The meeting with the patriarch takes place on the feast of St. Andrew, the patron of the patriarchate.

“I ask you all to pray that this visit of Peter to his brother Andrew will bring fruits of peace, sincere dialogue among religions and harmony in the Turkish nation,” the pope said.

 

Comments Off

Photo of the week: Reunion at the border

By

U.S.-Mexico border Mass marked by painful reunion through the fence

SUNLAND PARK, N.M. — The 18-car Union Pacific train blew its horn about 50 feet from the U.S.-Mexico divide.

There, in a dusty one-acre lot, an American road ends — literally. And it was where 12-year-old Yoryet Lara hoped to get a glimpse of her mother.

Jocelyn Lara, on the New Mexico side of the U.S.-Mexico border, kisses her mother, Trinidad Acahua, before Mass Nov. 22 in Sunland Park, N.M. Jocelyn and her sister, Yoryet, were separated from their mother after Acahua was deported seven years ago for being unable to show that she worked in the United States legally. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Jocelyn Lara, on the New Mexico side of the U.S.-Mexico border, kisses her mother, Trinidad Acahua, before Mass Nov. 22 in Sunland Park, N.M. Jocelyn and her sister, Yoryet, were separated from their mother after Acahua was deported seven years ago for being unable to show that she worked in the United States legally. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

“It’s been so long, I need to see her,” Yoryet said. “Other children get to see their moms on special occasions like Mother’s Day. I don’t. It’s not fair,” she said as she wiped away tears.

Yorye’s mother, Trinidad Acahua, once lived in the U.S. illegally, in El Paso, Texas. She had a job, paid her rent, stayed out of trouble. She had two children here, making them both U.S. citizens. But one day she ran a stop sign on her way to work and was pulled over. When she couldn’t produce paperwork for insurance or proof of car ownership, she was taken into custody and eventually deported. That was seven years ago.

Just as the 16th annual Border Mass, hosted by the area’s three dioceses was set to begin, the girls rushed the international fence, calling out for their mother, who was joining them at the Mass from the Mexican side of the fence.

“Don’t cry my queens, don’t cry,” Acahua sobbed. “I love you all very much my daughters.” The family’s lone embrace was an interlocking of fingers in the chain link fence that divided them.

“Mommy, I miss you,” said Jocelyn Lara, 10. “Ay Mommy!”

Their mother brought Emmanuel, the girls’ 3-year-old brother, to the fence as well.

“Hi little one, I’m your aunt,” the girls’ aunt, Ines Zepahua, said in greeting her nephew. She has never been able to hold him.

That was the backdrop for the annual Border Mass celebrated by bishops of the dioceses of El Paso, Texas, Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Juarez, Mexico.

“We have a prayerful purpose,” said Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso. “This Mass started as a remembrance of the thousands of people who have died in their desperate trek to come to the U.S. We pray for them as well as those immigrants who are here now but who live in fear of exploitation and deportation daily.”

The Mass was a cross-border experience. A lector read the first reading from Juarez in Mexico, while the second reading was read on the American side. The responsorial psalm was recited together, and Communion was shared on both sides. Because the border is marked there by a chain-link fence, every part of the Mass was visible from both countries. Bishop Seitz said the three communities came together in the liturgy, just as they do daily in responding to the needs of immigrants.

“They’re not coming here looking to get a new car or a new house,” he said. “Often, they come here out of fear of the lives they have back home. The life of the immigrant is not easy.”

That desperation was evident when, during Mass, 10 to 15 people cut through a seam in the border fence to cross illegally into New Mexico, according to the U.S. Border Patrol.

“It looks like we had about eight breach points,” said Joe Romero, acting Special Operations supervisor of the El Paso sector of the Border Patrol.

Romero said many of those who tried to cross got spooked and turned back. At least three were apprehended on the U.S. side. Tension ran high when a Border Patrol agent approached a young man in the crowd during Mass.

Ultimately, the agent walked away from the man, although it wasn’t clear whether the man was one of those eventually arrested.

Despite the attempts to take advantage of the Mass and sneak into the country, Romero said it won’t be an obstacle to future such events.

“We understand the purpose of the Mass and will not let this first-time breach prevent us from being supportive of it in the future,” he said.

“This was unprecedented,” said Bishop Seitz. “We’ve always known about the desperation of those who are attempting to come to the U.S. in search of safety. What happened (at Mass) shows that, in spite of President Obama’s recent executive action regarding immigrants who are already here, the need, the desperation to flee to safety, remains.”

As the liturgy came to a close, the celebrants’ words, “Mass has ended. Let us go in peace,” rang out. Yoryet and Jocelyn reluctantly said goodbye to their mom.

“I love you Mom! I miss you!” they said.

The two siblings walked toward their aunt’s SUV to leave. And another Union Pacific train blew its whistle in the background.

— By Elizabeth O’Hara

 

Comments Off

After grand jury report, Archbishop urges Ferguson, ‘Choose peace!’

By

 

ST. LOUIS (CNS) — Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis urged residents of Ferguson, “Choose peace!” He made the comment in a statement Nov. 24 following the issuance of a grand jury decision to not indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who is white, in the August shooting death of teenager Michael Brown, an African-American. “Reject any false and empty hope that violence will solve problems. Violence only creates more violence,” Archbishop Carlson said in his statement, released shortly after the grand jury announced its findings. “Let’s work for a better, stronger, more holy community — one founded upon respect for each other, respect for life and our shared responsibility for the common good.” Read more »

Comments Off

Diocesan high schools excel at SAT scores

November 25th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: , ,

By

Dialog Editor

 

Students at diocesan high schools are getting great marks from the SAT test, widely used in college admission processes.

Test scores for juniors and seniors taking the SAT test at diocesan high schools are the highest they’ve been for the past five years, Louis De Angelo, diocesan superintendent of schools said last week.

The data show results from St. Mark’s High School in Wilmington, St. Thomas More in Magnolia, St. Elizabeth High School and Padua Academy in Wilmington, and St. Peter and Paul High School in Easton, Md. Read more »

Comments Off

Wave II parishes help ‘Sustaining Hope’ campaign near goal

By

Special to The Dialog

 

Parishioners at St. Joseph Church on French Street in Wilmington have reason to celebrate this Thanksgiving weekend: The historic church has exceeded its $181,000 goal for the Sustaining Hope for the Future campaign.

But leaders at St. Joseph added $90,000 to that goal in order for the parish to have sufficient funds to renovate kitchen and restroom facilities in the church hall. While they rejoice at meeting the first goal, they realize more work remains to be done to meet their hopes. As of last week, St. Joseph’s had raised more than $222,000 in gifts and pledges. Read more »

Comments Off

St. Helena preschool, Holy Rosary school buildings have new tenants

By

Dialog reporter

 

The Brandywine Center for Autism, which provides applied behavioral analysis therapy services to children, has opened in the former St. Helena’s Parish preschool building. The parish closed its preschool in 2013.

The center, which opened in mid-November, provides children “with the skills they need to realize their full potential” by identifying individual learning styles, according to its website. BCA also offers consultative and direct services in the home. It will have access to the school gymnasium.

Chris Hullinger, St. Helena’s business manager, said the center signed a lease in August and has exclusive use of the former preschool building, which is directly behind the convent. The parish and BCA will share the gymnasium.

“We’ve been out there actively working to rent this building. We’ve had a lot of interest,” Hullinger said.

The former St. Helena’s School remains vacant. It most recently housed Pope John Paul II School, which opened in 2008 when St. Helena’s and Holy Rosary merged their schools. Pope John Paul II closed in 2011.

Meanwhile, Holy Rosary has a new tenant for its school building. Kingswood Academy, an alternative school for students who have had discipline problems or been expelled from their regular public schools, moved in over the summer and will be using the top floor. Its former location was on Market Street in Wilmington, said Yvonne Barnett, the program director.

“We needed more room, and this is more like a school atmosphere,” she said.

The school never has more than 100 students, and there are three staff members in each classroom. All of the students take buses. Classes begin at 7:30 a.m., and the students are picked up at 2 p.m. A state trooper is on-site every day.

Kingswood is part of a consortium consisting of the six public school districts in New Castle County – Appoquinimink, Brandywine, Christina, Colonial, Red Clay and Vo-Tech. The goal, Barnett said, is to have its students return to their regular schools.

“We believe in getting students back on track so they can be productive citizens,” she said. “We try to increase their attendance, make sure they’re on target as far as their academics.”

Holy Rosary previously served as the original home for Reach Academy, an all-girls charter school that relocated last year to New Castle.

Comments Off

Pope urges Europe to nurture religious roots, sow peace in its borders

By

Catholic News Service

STRASBOURG, France — The project of European unity and cooperation, ensuring peace on the continent and helping others find peace as well, requires a real commitment to dialogue and respect for others, Pope Francis said.

While the pope did not specifically mention the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia, both members of the Council of Europe, he told council members that a “great toll of suffering and death is still being enacted on this continent.”

Pope Francis speaks during a visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Nov. 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis speaks during a visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Nov. 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Visiting European institutions in Strasbourg Nov. 25, the pope marked the 65th anniversary of the 47-member Council of Europe, which was formed to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law on the continent in the wake of the destruction and division sown by the World War II.

Where is Europe’s energy, idealism and constant search for truth, he asked members of the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly, ambassadors from the 47 member states, the 47 judges of the European Court of Human Rights and other guests, including representatives of the religions present in member countries.

“Europe should reflect on whether its immense human, artistic, technical, social, political, economic and religious patrimony is simply an artifact of the past or whether it is still capable of inspiring culture and displaying its treasures to mankind as a whole,” he said.

“In a world more prone to make demands than to serve,” he said, helping one another and promoting a peaceful resolution of conflicts must be at the heart of the Council of Europe’s agenda.

“The royal road to peace , and to avoiding a repetition of what occurred in the two world wars of the last century, is to see others not as enemies to be opposed, but as brothers and sisters to be embraced,” the pope said.

Pope Francis told the Council of Europe, as he had told the European Parliament earlier in the day, he realizes members of the Catholic Church in Europe have not always been blameless, but that the church constantly commits itself to serving others better, a commitment that government and international organizations must make as well.

He pleaded with the European institutions to be more serious and creative about increasing employment, particularly for the young. The high rate of unemployment among young people, averaging 20 percent across the 28 member countries of the European Union, is “a veritable mortgage on the future,” he said.

“Achieving the good of peace,” he said, “first calls for educating to peace, banishing a culture of conflict aimed at fear of others, marginalizing those who think or live differently than ourselves.”

Using the international forum of the Council of Europe, Pope Francis condemned “religious and international terrorism, which displays deep disdain for human life and indiscriminately reaps innocent victims.”

“This phenomenon,” he said, “is unfortunately bankrolled by a frequently unchecked traffic in weapons.”

The call to peace, Pope Francis said, first involves stopping violence, but it goes deeper and the Council of Europe project is to sow peace through the promotion and protection of human rights.

Using the image of a tree, growing tall but firmly rooted in the earth, the pope insisted that the European project cannot succeed if it does not maintain and nourish its roots of Judeo-Christian values, beginning with the sacredness of human life and the pursuit of truth and the common good.

People with a purely “scientific mentality” have trouble understanding how such growth works, he said. “In order to progress toward the future we need the past; we need profound roots.”

Without those roots, the pope said, people think only of themselves and their rights and needs, feeling free to “throw away” anything or anyone they do not find useful.

“We have a surfeit of unnecessary things, but we no longer have the capacity to build authentic human relationships marked by truth and mutual respect,” the pope said. The lack of solid relationships has wounded Europe, sapping it of the vitality it once had and tempting it to close in on itself instead of helping others.

European institutions and the continent’s citizens must stop speaking only to those they already agree with completely, he said. Dialogue with others actually strengthens one’s identity while also making one more sensitive to the gifts and needs of others.

As he did earlier in the morning, the pope called special attention to the needs of migrants who arrive on Europe’s shores needing material aid, “but more importantly a recognition of their dignity as persons.”

 

Comments Off

Pope Francis meets with Curia to discuss reform; names African cardinal head of worship office

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The same day he spent three hours meeting the heads of Vatican offices to discuss the reform of the Roman Curia, Pope Francis named 69-year-old Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah to be the new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

Pope Francis named 69-year-old Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah to be the new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis named 69-year-old Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah to be the new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Cardinal Sarah, who had been president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Vatican’s charitable distribution and promotion office, since 2010, succeeds Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, who was named archbishop of Valencia, Spain, in August.

The Vatican announced Cardinal Sarah’s appointment Nov. 24 as the pope was meeting him and the other presidents of pontifical councils and prefects of Vatican congregations.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the meeting was one of the gatherings Pope Francis holds with the heads of Vatican offices every six months. However, in view of the planned reorganization of the Roman Curia, the meeting also was an opportunity to explain the ideas developed so far by Pope Francis’ nine-member Council of Cardinals.

“It was useful to have this meeting to collect opinions” before the Dec. 9-11 meeting of the council, which Pope Francis named to advise him on the Curia reform and on the governance of the church in general, Father Lombardi said.

The spokesman told reporters he understood that the process of making decisions and fine-tuning ideas about how to reorganize the Vatican offices “would continue for several months still. There is no sense that a new constitution is imminent.”

Cardinal Sarah takes up the reins at the worship congregation after four years spearheading retired Pope Benedict XVI’s attempts to ensure that Catholic aid and charitable activity include not only material assistance, but also spiritual care for the poor, refugees and victims of natural disasters.

He was appointed head of Cor Unum after nine years serving as secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which oversees and cares for Catholic dioceses and jurisdictions in missionary territories.

Cardinal Sarah came to the Vatican after serving for 21 years as archbishop of Conakry, Guinea. His time in the archdiocese included the last five years of the ruthless Marxist dictatorship of Ahmed Sekou Toure, who died in office in 1984. The then-Archbishop Sarah earned a reputation as one of the few voices courageous enough to defend freedom and promote human dignity.

In a 2012 speech to the Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization, Cardinal Sarah insisted the Catholic Church is not a social service agency; its aim is always and everywhere to lead people to the God who is love, and that is done through concretely demonstrating that love.

While the church never ties its offers of help to promises of conversion, the cardinal said, many people have come to faith in Christ and joined the church because of the love they experienced through Catholic charity.

Missionary activity and charity, in the form of education, health care, sanitation, development aid and the defense of human rights, always have gone hand in hand, he told the synod.

At the 2009 special Synod of Bishops for Africa, then-Archbishop Sarah said, “Africa must protect itself from the contamination” of increasingly popular Western ideas about family life and sexuality.

“In African culture,” he said, “man is nothing without woman and woman is nothing without man. Both are nothing if the child isn’t the center of the family created by a man and a woman and the base of society.”

Attempts to redefine the family, to accept homosexual activity and to promote abortion as a right undermine the very fabric of stable societies, he said: “There is no peace, no justice, no stability in society without family, without cooperation between man and woman, without a father and without a mother.”

Born June 15, 1945, in Ourous, Guinea, he was educated in seminaries in the Ivory Coast and Guinea. He earned a licentiate degree in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and another licentiate in Scripture from the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1969 and served as rector of the minor seminary in Kindia, Guinea, as well as pastor at several local parishes. When he was consecrated a bishop at the age of 34 he was the youngest bishop in the world. He served as archbishop of Conakry from 1979 to 2001.

 

Comments Off

Church must shine God’s light, guard against vanity, pope says

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The church must learn from the mistakes of its past and guard against seeking “to shine its own light” rather than the light of God, said Pope Francis at morning Mass.

In the church’s history, it has either been “tempted by vanity” or has worked to be “a poor church, whose only wealth is the bridegroom,” Jesus, he said Nov. 24 in his homily during the Mass in Casa Santa Marta where he lives.

The pope said the poor widow in the day’s Gospel reading (Lk 21:1-4) points to how the church must be in the world.

“This widow was not important. Her name did not appear in newspapers. No one knew her. She did not have any degrees. Nothing. She did not shine her own light,” he said, according to Vatican Radio.

And, just as the widow did not shine her own light, he said, “the great virtue of the church must not be to shine its own light but to shine the light … that comes from the Bridegroom.”

History has shown that “when the church wanted to have its own light, it was mistaken,” he said. When God wants to grant the church light, it must be received with humility, he said. All the service performed in the church must be directed at helping the church receive and act by the light of God, he added.

Service performed without this light “is not good,” the pope said. “It leads the church to become either rich or powerful or to seek power or take the wrong path, as has happened many times in history and as happens in our lives when we want to have another light that is not the Lord’s: our own light.”

Instead, the church must be like the poor widow in the Gospel, who waits in hope for the light of the Bridegroom.

“When the church is humble, when the church is poor, even when the church admits its poverty, which we all have, the church is faithful,” he said. It does the church “much good” to admit that it is “in the dark” and that “the light comes from (God),” he continued.

The pope concluded his homilies by urging prayers to the poor widow, “who is surely in heaven,” to teach the church and its faithful to keep “nothing for us,” so that “all is for the Lord and for neighbor, without priding ourselves on our own light but seeking always the light that comes from the Lord.”

 

Comments Off

Pope Francis, creating six new saints from India and Italy, uses revised rite

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Using a newly simplified rite, Pope Francis proclaimed six new saints and praised them for the love and self-giving with which they served God and built up his kingdom by serving the poor and needy.

Creating the two Indian and four Italian saints Nov. 23, the feast of Christ the King, the pope said, “They responded with extraordinary creativity to the commandment of love of God and neighbor,” dedicating themselves, “without holding back, to serving the least and assisting the destitute, sick, elderly and pilgrims.”

Pilgrims from India wait for the start of the canonization Mass of six new saints celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 24. The new saints are Euphrasia Eluvathingal, an Indian Carmelite sister and member of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church; Ludovico of Casoria, an Italian Franciscan priest who founded the Grey Franciscan Friars of Charity and the Grey Franciscan Sisters of St. Elizabeth; Giovanni Antonio Farina, an Italian bishop of Vicenza and the founder of the Teaching Sisters of St. Dorothy; Kuriakose Elias Chavara, the Indian founder of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, a Syro-Malabar Catholic order; Nicholas of Longobardi, an Italian friar of the Minim order; and Amato Ronconi, a 13th-century Italian lay Franciscan and founder of a hospice for the poor, which is now a home for the elderly in Rimini, Italy. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pilgrims from India wait for the start of the canonization Mass of six new saints celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Nov. 24. The new saints are Euphrasia Eluvathingal, an Indian Carmelite sister and member of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church; Ludovico of Casoria, an Italian Franciscan priest who founded the Grey Franciscan Friars of Charity and the Grey Franciscan Sisters of St. Elizabeth; Giovanni Antonio Farina, an Italian bishop of Vicenza and the founder of the Teaching Sisters of St. Dorothy; Kuriakose Elias Chavara, the Indian founder of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, a Syro-Malabar Catholic order; Nicholas of Longobardi, an Italian friar of the Minim order; and Amato Ronconi, a 13th-century Italian lay Franciscan and founder of a hospice for the poor, which is now a home for the elderly in Rimini, Italy. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The Mass in a St. Peter’s Square still damp from an early morning rain began with the canonizations using an even briefer formula than what had become standard with St. John Paul II. The formula had been expanded by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.

The new rite did away with the three “petitions” used by Pope Benedict; the cardinal prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes would ask the pope three times to canonize candidates and the pope would respond by asking God to “sustain with his grace” the act of canonization and not allow the church to err in such an important matter. In response to the third petition, the pope would recite the formula for canonization.

Instead Nov. 22 Cardinal Angelo Amato, congregation prefect, requested Pope Francis canonize the six candidates and the pope responded by introducing a litany of the saints, praying that through their intercession God would “sustain with his grace the act which we now solemnly undertake.”

After singing the litany, Pope Francis read the canonization formula, proclaim the new saints:

• Kuriakose Elias Chavara, the Indian founder of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, a Syro-Malabar Catholic order. Born in 1805, he died in 1871.

• Euphrasia Eluvathingal, a member of the Carmelites founded by St. Chavara. She lived 1877-1952.

• Nicholas of Longobardi, an Italian friar of the Minim order, who lived 1650-1709.

• Giovanni Antonio Farina, an Italian bishop of Vicenza and the founder of the Teaching Sisters of St. Dorothy. He died in 1888.

• Ludovico of Casoria, the 19th-century Italian founder of the Grey Franciscan Friars of Charity and the Grey Franciscan Sisters of St. Elizabeth.

• Amato Ronconi, a 13th-century Italian lay Franciscan and founder of a hospice for the poor, which is now a home for the elderly in Rimini, Italy. In his homily at the Mass,

Pope Francis focused on the feast of Christ the King and the description in the day’s first reading (Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17) of how God shepherds his people.

“These verses,” the pope said, “are interwoven with verbs which show the care and love that the shepherd has for his flock: to search, to look over, to gather the dispersed, to lead into pasture, to bring to rest, to seek the lost sheep, to lead back the confused, to bandage the wounded, to heal the sick, to take care of, to pasture.”

The Old Testament description is “fulfilled in Jesus Christ,” he said, and those who minister in Christ’s name — the pope, the bishops and priests — must follow his example “if do not want to become hirelings. In this regard the People of God have an unerring sense for recognizing good shepherds and in distinguishing them from hirelings.”

Thousands of Catholics from India, especially from Kerala, traveled to the Vatican to celebrate St. Chavara and St. Eluvathingal. Meeting the pilgrims briefly Nov. 24, Pope Francis said the two Indians “remind each of us that God’s love is the source and the goal and the support of all holiness, while love of neighbor is the clearest demonstration of love for the Lord.”

Comments Off
Marquee Powered By Know How Media.