Saturday, 14 November 2009

Pope Benedict on the Priesthood: From a Homily given September 11, 2006: 'To be with Him and to be sent out' Part I

This homily was given during Marian Vespers to the Religious and Seminarians of Bavaria who were present in the Basilica of Saint Anne, Altotting.

"Here in Altotting, in this grace-filled place, we have gathered............. in the Basilica of St. Anne, before the shrine to her daughter, the Mother of the Lord. We have gathered to consider our vocationto serve Jesus Christ and, under the watchful gaze of Saint Anne, in whose home the greatest vocation in the history of salvation developed, to understand it better. Mary received her vocation from the lips of an angel. The Angel does not enter our room visibly, but the Lord has a plan for each of us, he calls each one of us by name. Our task is to learn how to listen, to perceive his call to be courageous and faithful in following him and, when all is said and done, to be found trustworthy servants who have used well the gifts given us.

"We know that the Lord seeks labourers for his harvest. He himself said as much: The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest' (Mt 9: 37-38). That is why we are gathered here to make this urgent request t0 the Lord of the harvest. God's harvest is indeed great, and it needs labourers: in the so-called Third World - in Latin America, in Africa and in Asia - people are waiting for heralds to bring them the Gospel of peace, the good news of God who became man. But also in the so-called West, among us in Germany, and in the vast lands of Russia it is true that a great harvest could be reaped. But there is a lack of people willing to become labourers for God's harvest. Today it is as then, when the Lord was moved to pity for the crowds which seemed like sheep without a shepherd,people who probably knew how to do many things, but found it hard to make sense of their lives. Lord, look upon our troubled times, which need preachers of the Gospel, witnesses to you, persons who can point the way towards 'life in abundance'! Look upon our world and feel pity once more! Look upon our world and send us labourers! With this petition we knock upon God's door;but with the same petition the Lord is also knocking on the doors of our own hearts. Lord do you want me? Is it not perhaps too big for me? Am I too small for this? 'Do not be afraid', the Angel said to Mary. 'Do not fear: I have called you by name', God says through the prophet Isaiah (43:1) to us - to each one of us. "

Part II tomorrow, DV.

No comments:

Post a Comment