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Bishops and priests anointed to serve People: Pope

Vatican City, 27 January 2014: The Church cannot be understood simply as a human organization, the difference lies in the anointing which gives the men who answer the call to become bishops and priests, the power of the Spirit to serve the people of God, said Pope Francis on Monday morning during Mass he celebrated in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta residence in the Vatican. The Pope thanked the many holy priests who give their lives in the anonymity of their daily service.

Commenting on the first reading of the day, which speaks of the tribes of Israel to anoint David as their king, the Pope explained the significance of spiritual anointing, saying, “Without this anointing, David would have been only the head,” of the, “company” of a “political society, which was the Kingdom of Israel” He would have been a mere, “political organizer.” Instead, “After the anointing , the Spirit of the Lord,” descends upon David and stays with him. Scripture says that David continued to grow in power, and that the Lord was with him. “This,” said Pope Francis, “is precisely the difference anointing makes.” The anointed one is a person chosen by the Lord. So it is in the Church for bishops and priests:

“The bishops are elected not only to conduct an organization, which is called the particular Church. They are anointed: they have the anointing and the Spirit of the Lord is with them. All the bishops are sinners, every one. Still, we are anointed. We all want to be more holy every day, more faithful to this anointing. It is in this anointing that a particular Church has its strength. Because they take part [in the bishop’s mission of service] priests are anointed, as well.”

Pope Francis went on to say that anointing brings bishops and priests closer to the Lord and gives them the joy and strength, “To carry people forward, to help people, to live in the service of people.” Anointing gives the joy of feeling oneself “chosen by the Lord, watched by the Lord, with that love with which the Lord looks upon all of us.” Thus, “When we think of bishops and priests, we must think of them in this way.

“This diocese goes forward because it has a holy people, many things, and also an anointed one who leads, who helps it to grow. This parish progresses because it has many organizations, many things, but it also has a priest, who carries the parish forward. We in history know but a small part - though how many holy bishops, how many priests, how many holy priests have given their lives in the service of the diocese, the parish – how many people have received the power of faith, the power of love, hope [itself] from these anonymous pastors? We do not know: there are so many.”

They are many, explained Pope Francis, “The parish priests of the country or the city, who, with their anointing have given strength to the people. Pope Francis concluded his homily recalling ‘our brave, holy, good, faithful bishops and priests, and inviting people to pray for them. We are here today thanks to them, the Pope said.
Source: VR Sedoc


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