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WYD 2013: Pope urges ministers to ‘seek and meet the people’

By on Saturday, 27 July 2013

Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Rio cathedral (CNS)

Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Rio cathedral (CNS)

The Pope has told an estimated 1,000 bishops, along with thousands of priests, seminarians and religious, that “it is not pastoral creativity or meetings or planning that ensure our fruitfulness, but our being faithful to Jesus.”

Pope Francis celebrated Mass with the ministers today in Rio’s St Sebastian Cathedral, repeating one of the key ideas of his papacy: “We cannot keep ourselves shut up in parishes, in our communities, when so many people are waiting for the Gospel.”

“It is not enough simply to open the door in welcome,” he said, “but we must go out through the door to seek and meet the people.”

The ability to share the Good News relies on first recognising how truly good it is, the Pope said. Ministers of the Gospel “must have a memory”, treasuring the knowledge that they were called by God and spending time with him in prayer and adoration. It also means spending time with Jesus present in others, especially the poor, he said.

The hundreds of thousands of young people who gathered in Rio for World Youth Day also have heard Jesus’s call to go and make disciples of all nations, the Pope said. But that can be a frightening prospect and the Church’s ministers have an obligation to give the young the education, formation and support they need in order to respond.

“Let us help our young people to discover the courage and joy of faith, the joy of being loved personally by God, who gave his son Jesus for our salvation,” Pope Francis said. “When the young understand they are personally loved by God, they can keep going.”

Jesus obviously loved his disciples, the Pope said, but “he did not keep them under his wing like a hen with her chicks. He sent them out.”

A key part of the Church’s mission activity, he said, is promoting “the culture of encounter” to fight a growing “culture of exclusion, of rejection”.

Too often today “there is no place for the elderly or for the unwanted child; there is no time for the poor person on the edge of the street,” the Pope said.

“Dear brother bishops, priests, religious and you, seminarians who are preparing for ministry: have the courage to go against the tide,” the pope told them. Humanity is one family and society can be humane only when all are welcomed and treated with dignity.

“We must be almost obsessive in this matter,” he said.

“We do not want to be presumptuous, imposing ‘our truths’,” but rather “the humble yet joyful certainty” of being touched and transformed by the truth of Christ is something Christians must share with others.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    “it is not pastoral creativity or meetings or planning that ensure our
    fruitfulness, but our being faithful to
    Jesus.”

    “We cannot keep ourselves shut up in parishes, in our communities, when so many
    people are waiting for the Gospel.”

    “The ability to share the Good News relies on first recognising how truly
    good it is,…

    “Ministers of the Gospel “must have a memory”, treasuring the knowledge
    that they were called by God…..

    “….spending time with him in
    prayer and adoration.

    “It also means spending time
    with Jesus present in others, especially the poor. ”

    These are all good.

    Speaking about Jesus, doing missionary work, doing Social work to serve people etc. have been going on for centuries. Lately we have with us “New Evangelisation.

    Mere human efforts, tricks, and techniques, playing with words and introducing new methods to bring people to Christ will only result in disillusionment. For the moment people can be occupied with with the hope of “something great is going to happen”.

    We need to continue the work of Jesus the Lord in PROMOTING APOSTLESHIP. Or else what is going to happen is that all will be lost. Did not Jesus the Lord say, “Will there be faith left on earth when the Son of Man comes back..

    Where are the ancient lands of Christianity and the people who were there? Palestine, Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Irack, Egypt, Libia – all eastern meditaranian Countries, Constantinople, the whole of North Africa and Southern Spain?

    And now there is also the threat to Conquer Rome itself!

    Who is responsible for all this if not PAGAN CHRISTIANITY?

    INSTITUTIONALISATION of the Church itself was the greatest betrayal of Christ the Lord.

    Practically BISHOPS, Priests and Religious have the status of Eunuches of ancient Kingdoms and Empires and nothing much more than that.

    Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

  • Scyptical Chymist

    Going out and meeting the people. Shouldn’t we be doing this already? But over the years this has been identified with evangelical Protestantism (especially Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Salvation Army). Should the Catholic Church now become more like the Protestants? After all the latter are making great inroads in previously almost wholly Catholic South America. Indeed some say that panic on this front was the reason for the visit being planned some time ago. If you can’t beat them, join them — what am I saying? Do some high ups in the Church think we need to go for the Protestant ethos hook, line and sinker? Let’s abolish the old rites altogether and get real. What price then the suffering of the martyrs in the time of the Reformation? I am truly bamboozled by what is going on at the moment. Part of me sees a lot of good coming from this Pope but there remains a nagging doubt about the direction that is being set for us and certain cardinals and bishops coming back into prominence.