Vatican City, Apr 18, 2019 / 01:57 am
The holy oil blessed at the Chrism Mass is a reminder of the priest's call to be close to the People of God, pouring himself out in service to them, Pope Francis said Thursday.
"I would say this: We [priests] are not distributors of bottled oil," the pope said April 18. "We anoint by distributing ourselves, distributing our vocation and our heart."
Priests not only anoint with sacramental oil, they "anoint by dirtying our hands in touching the wounds, the sins and the worries of the people. We anoint by perfuming our hands in touching their faith, their hopes, their fidelity and the unconditional generosity of their self-giving," he said.
Francis spoke to priests living in Rome about the "grace 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.