.- Priests must not preach âChristianity 'a la carte'â and should be willing to approach even uncomfortable aspects of the Gospel, Pope Benedict said in a meeting with priests this week.
In a meeting with priests and religious from the Diocese of Rome on March 10, the Pope led a Scripture meditation as the âpastor of the pastors.â
He based the meditation - called a âlectio divinaâ (sacred reading) - on a chapter from the Acts of the Apostles in which St. Paul leaves the faithful in Ephesus with instructions on how to continue preaching the Gospel after his departure.
Paul's advice to be humble and vigilant in preaching the faith, to make themselves completely available in service to Christ and the Church, and prayerful as they protect their âflocksâ are all relevant characteristics of priests nearly 2,000 years later, said the Pope.
He implored priests to show âfull-timeâ fidelity to their vocation as priests, âbeing with Christ and being ambassadors of Christ.â
The Pope also called on priests today not to shrink from proclaiming âthe entire plan of God.â
âThis is important,â said the Pope. âThe Apostle does not preach Christianity 'a la carte,' according to his own tastes, he does not preach a Gospel according to his own preferred theological ideas; he does not take away from the commitment to announce the entire will of God, even when uncomfortable, nor the themes he may least like personally.
âIt is our mission to announce all the will of God, in its totality and ultimate simplicity. But the fact that we must instruct and preach is important - as St. Paul says - and really proposes the entire will of God.â
In a world where people are curious to know everything, âso much more should we be curious to know the will of God,â said Pope Benedict.
âWhat thing could be more interesting, more important, more essential for us than to know what God wants, to know the will of God, the face of God?â
He called on priests and religious to respond to this curiosity and awaken it in others, assisting them in âknowing truly all the will of God and knowing then how we can and must live, which is the path of our lives.â