Vatican City, Mar 29, 2018 / 02:53 am
At his annual Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, Pope Francis said that a good priest is one who is close to his flock and who makes Jesus' presence felt in people's lives – as more than an abstract idea.
"A priest who is close to his people walks among them with the closeness and tenderness of a good shepherd; in shepherding them, he goes at times before them, at times remains in their midst and at other times walks behind them," the Pope said March 29.
"We either make Jesus present in the life of humanity or let him remain on the level of ideas, letters on a page, incarnate at most in some good habit gradually becoming routine."
Francis spoke to priests living in Rome about the "virtue of closeness" during the Chrism Mass of Holy Week, the Mass at which the Pope, as the bishop of Rome, blesses the Oil of the Sick, the Oil of Catechumens, and the Chrism Oil, which will be used throughout the diocese over the coming year.
In his homily, he said that closeness is more than just a good action, but "an attitude that engages the whole person, our way of relating, our way of being attentive both to ourselves and to others…"