Saturday, July 27, 2013

POPE FRANCIS AT WORLD YOUTH DAY MASS "CALLED BY GOD"


Vatican Radio REPORT: Pope Francis today urged clergy, seminarians and religious to respond to the call of God, proclaim the Gospel and promote a culture of encounter in their lives and ministry. In his homily at mass Saturday at Rio de Janeiro’s Cathedral of Saint Sebastian, the Pope cited these three aspects of their vocation as essential to evangelization. The Holy Father is in Brazil for a week long visit to celebrate World Youth Day with young people from around the world.

In order to do this effectively, first, they must rekindle “an awareness of their divine vocation” – something “we often take for granted in the midst of our many daily responsibilities.” We were called by God, he reminded them and we are called to live a life in Christ to be effective apostles.

And that takes “faithfulness to a life of prayer,” the daily Eucharist, and “helping those most in need.”

Far from isolating ourselves, we are called to proclaim the Gospel to others wherever they may be – he said, “even if that means in our own country.”

Let us help our young people, he said, to realize that being missionary is what it means to be Christian. And no effort should be spared in their formation.

The Pope challenged religious to look “courageously…to pastoral needs, beginning in the outskirts, with those farthest away… those who do not…go to church.”

While “the culture of exclusion, of rejection is spreading,” religious must promote “a culture of encounter.” He invited them to go against the tide in a society where the elderly and children are “unwanted” and “there is no time for that poor person on the edge of the Street.” Encounter and communion are marks of our Christian faith, he said, and we must be “obsessive” about living these out.

Below, we publish the full text of his homily:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Seeing this Cathedral full of Bishops, priests, seminarians, and men and women religious from the whole world, I think of the Psalmist’s words from today’s Mass: “Let the peoples praise you, O God” (Ps 66). We are indeed here to praise the Lord, and we do so reaffirming our desire to be his instruments so that not only some peoples may praise God, but all. With the same parrhesia of Paul and Barnabas, we proclaim the Gospel to our young people, so that they may encounter Christ, the light for our path, and build a more fraternal world. I wish to reflect with you on three aspects of our vocation: we are called by God, called to proclaim the Gospel, and called to promote the culture of encounter.

1. Called by God – It is important to rekindle an awareness of our divine vocation, which we often take for granted in the midst of our many daily responsibilities: as Jesus says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you” (Jn 15:16). This means returning to the source of our calling. At the beginning of our vocational journey, there is a divine election. For this reason, a bishop, a priest, a consecrated man or woman, a seminarian cannot have a bad memory. He or she must safeguard that grace and never forget his or her first calling. We were called by God and we were called to be with Jesus (cf. Mk 3:14), united with him in a way so profound that we are able to say with Saint Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20). This living in Christ, in fact, marks all that we are and all that we do. And this “life in Christ” is precisely what ensures the effectiveness of our apostolate, that our service is fruitful: “I appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide” (Jn 15:16). It is not pastoral creativity, or meetings or planning that ensure our fruitfulness, but our being faithful to Jesus, who says insistently: “Abide in me and I in you” (Jn 15:4). And we know well what that means: to contemplate him, to worship him, to embrace him, especially through our faithfulness to a life of prayer, and in our daily encounter with him, present in the Eucharist and in those most in need. “Being with” Christ does not isolate us from others. Rather, it is a “being with” in order to go forth and encounter others. This brings to mind some words of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “We must be very proud of our vocation because it gives us the opportunity to serve Christ in the poor. It is in the favelas, in the cantegriles, in the villas miseria, that one must go to seek and to serve Christ. We must go to them as the priest presents himself at the altar, with joy” (Mother’s Instructions, I, p. 80). Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is our true treasure. Let us try to unite our hearts ever more closely to his (cf. Lk 12:34).

2. Called to proclaim the Gospel – dear Bishops and priests, many of you, if not all, have accompanied your young people to World Youth Day. They too have heard the mandate of Jesus: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (cf. Mt 28:19). It is our responsibility to help kindle within their hearts the desire to be missionary disciples of Jesus. Certainly, this invitation could cause many to feel somewhat afraid, thinking that to be missionaries requires leaving their own homes and countries, family and friends. God asks us to be missionaries wherewe are, where He puts us! Let us help our young people to realize that the call to be missionary disciples flows from our baptism and is an essential part of what it means to be a Christian. We must also help them to realize that we are called first to evangelize in our own homes and our places of study and work, to evangelize our family and friends. Let us help our young people, let us open our ears to their questions, they need to be listened to when in difficulty; of course patience is needed to listen, in confession and in spiritual direction. We need to know how best to spend time with them.
Let us spare no effort in the formation of our young people! Saint Paul uses a beautiful expression that he embodied in his own life, when he addressed the Christian community: “My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you” (Gal 4:19). Let us embody this also in our own ministry! 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. Let us form them in mission, in going out and going forth. Jesus did this with his own disciples: he did not keep them under his wing like a hen with her chicks. He sent them out! 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, but we must go out through that door to seek and meet the people! Let us courageously look to pastoral needs, beginning on the outskirts, with those who are farthest away, with those who do not usually go to church. They are the V.I.P.s invited to the table of the Lord... go and look for them in the nooks and crannies of the streets.

3. Called to promote the culture of encounter – Unfortunately, in many places, generally in this economic humanism that prevails in the world, the culture of exclusion, of rejection, is spreading. There is no place for the elderly or for the unwanted child; there is no time for that poor person on the edge of the street. At times, it seems that for some people, human relations are regulated by two modern “dogmas”: efficiency and pragmatism. Dear Bishops, priests, religious and you, seminarians who are preparing for ministry: have the courage to go against the tide. Let us not reject this gift of God which is the one family of his children. Encountering and welcoming everyone, solidarity... this is a word that in this culture is being hidden away, as if it was a swear word... solidarity and fraternity: these are what make our society truly human.

Be servants of communion and of the culture of encounter! Permit me to say that we must be almost obsessive in this matter. We do not want to be presumptuous, imposing “our truths”. What must guide us is the humble yet joyful certainty of those who have been found, touched and transformed by the Truth who is Christ, ever to be proclaimed (cf. Lk 24:13-35).

Dear brothers and sisters, we are called by God, called to proclaim the Gospel and called to promote with courage the culture of encounter. May the Virgin Mary be our exemplar. In her life she was “a model of that motherly love with which all who join in the Church’s apostolic mission for the regeneration of humanity should be animated” (Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 65). Let us ask her to teach us to meet Jesus every day, let us ask her to encourage us to go out to meet our many brothers and sisters who are on the edges and are thirsty for God but do not have anyone to announce Him; let us ask her not to throw us out of home, but to encourage us to leave home; in this way we will be disciples of the Lord. 

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...

CALLED AND CHOSEN

Matthew 22:14 For many are called , but few are chosen."

Definition of called: Invited or summoned.

Definition of chosen: Those who are eligible or suited for election. Elected and chosen are synonymous.

WHO ARE THE CALLED?

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Every person who has heard the gospel has been called. The call is not limited to a select few who have been predestined for salvation.

WHO ARE THE CHOSEN (THE ELECTED)?

The chosen are the ones who are obedient to the call of the gospel.
The chosen are those who have 1. Faith: John 3:16

The chosen are those who 2. Repent: Acts 3:19 (Repent means to make the commitment to turn from sin and turn toward God).

The chosen are those who 3. Confess: Roman 10:9-10

The chosen are those who are 4. Baptized in water: Acts 2:38

The chosen are not those who were supposedly, unconditionally selected, for salvation. The chosen have to be suited for election.

THE CALLED WHO ARE NOT CHOSEN.

Matthew 22:2-3 "the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. 3 And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.

Many have had the gospel preached to them, but of their own free-will have rejected the call. If men reject the gift of eternal life by rejecting Jesus as Lord and Savior; then they have been called, but not chosen.

Matthew 22:11-14 "But when the king came to look over the dinner quests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 12 and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?" 13 Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14 For many are called but few are chosen."

This wedding quest was disinvited. He was called but not chosen ; because he was not suitable to be chosen. Improper clothing was a big deal.

Galatalians 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

DO YOU HAVE THE PROPER WEDDING CLOTHES TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

When you stand before the KING OF KINGS are you going to be speechless when He asks; where are your wedding clothes? WHAT WILL YOU SAY WHEN HE ASKS YOU WHY YOU REJECTED IMMERSION IN WATER FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF YOUR SINS. WHAT WILL YOU ANSWER BE, WHEN JESUS ASKS YOU WHY YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITH BEING CLOTHED IN CHRIST?

MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN!


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