13 of those
ordained yesterday now become priests within the Diocese of Rome, while
the two others will serve in the Order of Discalced Carmelites.
homily, the Holy Father recalled the day’s Gospel reading, which speaks
of the Christ the Good Shepherd, who gives his life for his flock.
spirit, Benedict stressed, is opposed to "careerism, the attempt to
arrive 'high up,' to seek out a position through the Church, serve
oneself and not serve others. This is the image of a man who, through
the priesthood, seeks to become important and famous."
Yet, he was quick to add, "the only legitimate ascent towards the ministry of the shepherd is the cross. That is the door."
He went on to
say that to be a priest is not "to desire to be someone important, ...
but to live for others, for Christ, and through Him and with Him to
live for the men and women He seeks, whom He wants to lead along the
path of life.”
"We enter the
priesthood through a Sacrament," the Holy Father said, "and this means
through the total donation of self to Christ, so that He may use me as
He wishes, so that I serve Him and follow His call even when this
contrasts with my own desires for self-fulfillment and respect. To
enter by the door, which is Christ, means knowing Him and loving Him
ever more deeply, that our will may unite with His and our action
become one with His action."
He went on,
stressing the importance of celebrating the Eucharist daily--an act
which, he said, “must become a school of life for us, one in which we
learn to donate our lives."
highlighted the importance of "a practical and concrete knowledge of
the people entrusted to us. ... The pastor cannot be content with
remembering names and dates, his knowledge must also be a knowledge of
the heart. This, however, is only fully possible if the Lord has opened
our own hearts."
concluded his homily by emphasizing how priests "must concern
themselves with everyone," especially "those who believe and live with
the Church," but also with "bringing God's invitation to His banquet to
those men and women who have still not heard of it."
Catholic Church celebrated the 43rd annual World Day of Vocations on
Sunday. At the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI marked the occasion by
ordaining 15 new priests and stressing how they must be a witness of
the Gospel both to believers and to a world that has not yet heard of