The cold and rain weren’t an obstacle for the thousands of pilgrims who filled St. Peter’s Square in his weekly General Audience. Pope Francis couldn’t help but notice all the umbrellas covering the square.
Pope: Pray for your pastors, so that they don’t become mediocre
“I can see that you’re brave…under all this rain that wants to pull you back home. Thank You.”
As usual, he rode his Popemobile before the audience, blessing and waving at everybody. A music band welcomed him once he made his way across.
As part of his catechesis on the Sacraments, Pope Francis talked about Holy Orders. He reminded that all bishops, priests, and deacons are called to serve, and that they should always stay in touch with Jesus through the Sacraments and the Bible.
“A bishop who doesn’t pray, a bishop who doesn’t listen to the Word of God, who doesn’t celebrate Mass everyday, who doesn’t go to Confession on a regular basis—and the same thing happens to a priest that doesn’t do these things. He looses his union with Jesus and lives with a mediocrity that hurts the Church.
The Pope emphasized that Holy Orders give priests the grace to look after Jesus’ flock, not just through physical strength, but also spiritually.
“The priest, the bishop and the deacon must take care of the Lord’s flock. But if they do this without love, it’s useless.”
He also talked about vocations, explained how someone can recognize if God is calling them.
“So how does one become a priest? Where can you buy tickets? No, they’re not on sale. The thing is, it’s the Lord who takes the initiative. The Lord calls, calls every single person who wants to become a priest. Maybe even right here there are some young men who have felt this call in their hearts: The will to become priests, the will to serve others in the things that come from God. Someone who will dedicate his life to service, giving catechism, Baptism, forgiving, celebrating Mass and looking after the sick. Living life like that. If some of you have felt this call in your heart, it’s Jesus who placed it there.”
Pope Francis asked all Christians to pray for priests, especially for those going through difficult situations. Also, he invited them to ask God for true shepherds.