Inaugural Homily of Pope Francis Invites Us All to be Protectors
This is a Pope who teaches and preaches with the simplicity which characterizes his way of life. he lives in the heart of the Church for the sake of the world and calls us all to do the same
How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God's presence and receptive to God's plans, and not simply to his own. This is what God asked of David, as we heard in the first reading. God does not want a house built by men, but faithfulness to his word, to his plan. It is God himself who builds the house, but from living stones sealed by his Spirit. Joseph is a "protector" because he is able to hear God's voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping. (Pope Francis)
VATICAN CITY (Catholic online) - Below we offer our readers around the globe the official Vatican translation of the homily given by Pope Francis at his inauguration to the Chair of St. Peter. The fact that the beginning of his papacy occurred on the Feast of Joseph, the Spouse of Mary, was providential - and prophetic. He not only wove in the witness of Joseph as a model for each one of us, he also pointed to his namesake, Francis of Assisi for further insights.
His beautiful, yet characteristically simple and tenderhearted homily was rooted in the Scriptural texts for the Mass. As is his practice, he allowed the scripture itself to be broken open through his preaching - and thus point us all to Jesus Christ, the Living Word whom the written words reveal. These words of Pope Francis were also delivered with very little assistance from a prepared text, reflecting his ease with inspired spontaneity and his heart. He is clearly a man fueled by prayer.
This homily points to and outlines his vision for his own service as the "Servant of the Servants of God", one of the primary titles given to the Pope. However, the words preached by the Pope do much more. They invite everyone of us, through our own state in life and vocation, to enter into the ongoing ministry of protecting both the gifts of God - and the true understanding of the Giver Himself - by saying Yes to the Lord's invitation. We do this by living our own lives in Jesus Christ and in His Body, the Church, of which we are called to be members.
This is a Pope who teaches and preaches with the simplicity which characterizes his way of life. he lives in the heart of the Church for the sake of the world - and calls us all to do the same.
Pope Francis: Inaugural Homily
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. It is a significant coincidence, and it is also the name-day of my venerable predecessor: we are close to him with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude.
I offer a warm greeting to my brother cardinals and bishops, the priests, deacons, men and women religious, and all the lay faithful. I thank the representatives of the other Churches and ecclesial Communities, as well as the representatives of the Jewish community and the other religious communities, for their presence. My cordial greetings go to the Heads of State and Government, the members of the official Delegations from many countries throughout the world, and the Diplomatic Corps.
In the Gospel we heard that "Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife" (Mt 1:24). These words already point to the mission which God entrusts to Joseph: he is to be the custos, the protector. The protector of whom? Of Mary and Jesus; but this protection is then extended to the Church, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out: "Just as Saint Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ's upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ's Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model" (Redemptoris Custos, 1).
How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. From the time of his betrothal to Mary until the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, he is there at every moment with loving care.
As the spouse of Mary, he is at her side in good times and bad, on the journey to Bethlehem for the census and in the anxious and joyful hours when she gave birth; amid the drama of the flight into Egypt and during the frantic search for their child in the Temple; and later in the day-to-day life of the home of Nazareth, in the workshop where he taught his trade to Jesus.
How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God's presence and receptive to God's plans, and not simply to his own. This is what God asked of David, as we heard in the first reading. God does not want a house built by men, but faithfulness to his word, to his plan. It is God himself who builds the house, but from living stones sealed by his Spirit.
Joseph is a "protector" because he is able to hear God's voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping. He can look at things realistically, he is in touch with his surroundings, he can make truly wise decisions. In him, dear friends, we learn how to respond to God's call, readily and willingly, but we also see the ...
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