In the catechesis cycle on evangelization passion and apostolic zeal that started last week, Francis reflects on Jesus and his heart that does not let anyone “turn over”. The Christian imitates the father’s feelings to show his love and never forgets anyone.
Mariangela Jaguraba Vatican News
At the general audience this Wednesday (01/18) in the Sala Paulo VI announcement: Jesus”.
The fact that Jesus is “the Word, that is, the Word” tells us that He is “always related, outgoing, never isolated. In fact, the Word exists to be passed on and communicated. This is Jesus, the Eternal Word of the Father passed on to us Christ not only has words of life, but he makes his life a word, a message, that is, he always lives facing the Father and us, always looking at him Father who sent him looks upon us to whom he was sent”.
Jesus has “intimacy with the Father, prayer” and “all important decisions and decisions are made after prayer. In this relationship, in the prayer that spiritually unites him to the Father, Jesus discovers the meaning of his humanity, of his existence in the world, because he is on a mission for us, sent to us by the Father”. Jesus “offers us the key of his work in the world: to intercede for sinners, to stand in solidarity with us without distance, to participate fully in life”. “Speaking of his mission”, Jesus “will say that he did not come to help himself leave, but to serve and to give his life”. Dedicated to the people, especially the poorest and weakest, the sinners and the sick, that is, Jesus is in contact with the Father in prayer and then he is in contact with the people for the mission, for catechesis, to teach the way of faith “Kingdom of God”.
Being a pastor is a true way of life
Jesus offers us his image, “his way of life”, speaking of himself as the good shepherd who “lays down his life for the sheep”.
Being a pastor was not just a job that required time and effort; it was a true way of life: twentyfour hours a day, living with the flock, taking them out to pasture, sleeping among the sheep, caring for the weakest.
“In summary, Jesus does nothing for us, but gives his life for us. Yours is a pastoral heart. He is a shepherd for us all.”
“The term ‘pastoral’ is often used to sum up the action of the church in one word. “Whoever is with Jesus discovers that his pastoral heart always beats for the lost, lost, distant. And ours?” asked the Pope, noting that we often have a strange attitude, “with someone who is a bit difficult or a little bit is difficult for us”, and we say: “It is his problem that he overcomes”. Jesus never said that, ever. He goes to all, to all marginalized, to all sinners. He was accused of being with sinners because he had brought God’s salvation to sinners.
The pastoral heart responds differently
Francis then said that “if we wish to train our apostolic zeal” we must always remember the parable of the lost sheep contained in Luke chapter 15. “There we can understand what apostolic zeal is”. In this parable, “we discover that God does not look at the flock of his sheep, nor does he threaten them lest they go away. On the contrary, when someone goes out and gets lost, he doesn’t abandon him, but goes in search, he doesn’t say: “It’s gone, it’s their fault, it’s your problem”.
The pastoral heart reacts differently: it suffers and takes risks. He suffers: yes, God suffers for the departed, and the more he weeps for them, the more he loves them. The Lord suffers when we move away from His heart. He suffers for those who know neither the beauty of his love nor the warmth of his embrace. But in response to this suffering, he does not close himself off, but takes a risk: he leaves the ninetynine sheep and sets out in search of the only one that has been lost, doing something risky and even irrational with it, but in harmony with his pastoral heart that misses the deceased. What do we say when we hear that someone has left the Church? what is spinning Do not.
“Jesus teaches us to long for the dead. Jesus has no anger or resentment, but an insatiable longing for us. Jesus misses us. That is the zeal of God!”
“Perhaps we have been following and loving Jesus for a long time without ever asking ourselves if we share his feelings, if we suffer and risk, in accordance with his pastoral heart! may they be happy children of God”. “Evangelizing is not proselytizing. Proselytizing is a pagan thing, it is not religious or evangelical,” stressed Francis, inviting people “to ask in prayer for the grace of a pastoral heart that is open and is close to all, to bring the Lord’s grace, to proclaim the message and to listen to those who yearn for Christ. Without this love, which suffers and risks, we run the risk of only feeding ourselves”.