Monday, February 24, 2014

At Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis Speaks of the Importance of Service

 
In his Sunday Angelus message, Pope Francis spoke of the importance of "service." As a Catholic deacon, I am called, not only to service at the altar, but most especially to the ministry of charity. Serving my family, my brothers and sisters, the "poorest of the poor." This "diaconal" ministry is a vocation for all the faithful. All are called to serve, to be the face of Christ in a troubled world.

“Through baptism, we all have the same dignity: all of us, in Jesus Christ, we are sons of God,” the Pope stressed on Feb. 23 to the huge crowds filling St. Peter’s Square and spilling out onto the road.

“Those who have received a ministry of leadership, preaching, administering the sacraments, should not be considered owners of special powers, but offer service to the community, helping them to walk the path of holiness with joy.”

“St. Paul explains that this way of thinking is wrong, because the community does not belong to the apostles, but it is they who belong to the community, but the community, as a whole, belongs to Christ!” he exclaimed.

The dynamics of a Christian community must be marked by efforts to “build unity, because unity is more important than division.”

To this end, the various members of the Church must pray for one another, insisted the pontiff. “I also invite you to support these pastors and to assist them with prayer, so that they always guide people with the zeal that has been entrusted to them, showing all the tenderness and love of the Lord.”

Such unity and prayer should result in leading lives that witness to the truth, he explained.

“All together, bishops, priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful must offer the testimony of a Church faithful to Christ, animated by the desire to serve our brothers and ready to go with prophetic courage to meet the expectations and spiritual needs of the men and women of our time.”

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