Skip to comments.Pope: Homily for inaugural Mass of Petrine Ministry [full text]
Posted on 03/19/2013 2:48:16 AM PDT by markomalley
(Vatican Radio) Homily of the Holy Father at the Inauguration of his Papal Ministry 19 March 2013:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. It is a significant coincidence, and it is also the name-day of my venerable predecessor: we are close to him with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude.
I offer a warm greeting to my brother cardinals and bishops, the priests, deacons, men and women religious, and all the lay faithful. I thank the representatives of the other Churches and ecclesial Communities, as well as the representatives of the Jewish community and the other religious communities, for their presence. My cordial greetings go to the Heads of State and Government, the members of the official Delegations from many countries throughout the world, and the Diplomatic Corps.
In the Gospel we heard that Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife (Mt 1:24). These words already point to the mission which God entrusts to Joseph: he is to be the custos, the protector. The protector of whom? Of Mary and Jesus; but this protection is then extended to the Church, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out: Just as Saint Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christs upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christs Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model (Redemptoris Custos, 1).
How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. From the time of his betrothal to Mary until the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, he is there at every moment with loving care. As the spouse of Mary, he is at her side in good times and bad, on the journey to Bethlehem for the census and in the anxious and joyful hours when she gave birth; amid the drama of the flight into Egypt and during the frantic search for their child in the Temple; and later in the day-to-day life of the home of Nazareth, in the workshop where he taught his trade to Jesus.
How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of Gods presence and receptive to Gods plans, and not simply to his own. This is what God asked of David, as we heard in the first reading. God does not want a house built by men, but faithfulness to his word, to his plan. It is God himself who builds the house, but from living stones sealed by his Spirit. Joseph is a protector because he is able to hear Gods voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping. He can look at things realistically, he is in touch with his surroundings, he can make truly wise decisions. In him, dear friends, we learn how to respond to Gods call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ! Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!
The vocation of being a protector, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of Gods creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness. In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of Gods gifts!
Whenever human beings fail to live up to this responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened. Tragically, in every period of history there are Herods who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women.
Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be protectors of creation, protectors of Gods plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world! But to be protectors, we also have to keep watch over ourselves! Let us not forget that hatred, envy and pride defile our lives! Being protectors, then, also means keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts, because they are the seat of good and evil intentions: intentions that build up and tear down! We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness!
Here I would add one more thing: caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness. In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!
Today, together with the feast of Saint Joseph, we are celebrating the beginning of the ministry of the new Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, which also involves a certain power. Certainly, Jesus Christ conferred power upon Peter, but what sort of power was it? Jesus three questions to Peter about love are followed by three commands: feed my lambs, feed my sheep. Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked Saint Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of Gods people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt 25:31-46). Only those who serve with love are able to protect!
In the second reading, Saint Paul speaks of Abraham, who, hoping against hope, believed (Rom 4:18). Hoping against hope! Today too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope! For believers, for us Christians, like Abraham, like Saint Joseph, the hope that we bring is set against the horizon of God, which has opened up before us in Christ. It is a hope built on the rock which is God.
To protect Jesus with Mary, to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves: this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us!
I implore the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saints Peter and Paul, and Saint Francis, that the Holy Spirit may accompany my ministry, and I ask all of you to pray for me! Amen.
Absolutely magnificant! If husbands had any idea the attacks families are under, they would be going to daily mass. I see the strain in mothers constantly. Motherhood is no longer honored, and children are bombarded with temptations and bad influences. I’ve seen faith filled, good, women succumb to depression and infidelity, at least emotional, and the common denominator was husbands who didn’t truly share the faith.
Families need a father who is spiritually strong, centered on God, and will pray to God for their well being daily. Jesus could have come from the sky on a shimmering white stallion. Instead God gave us the humble example of the Holy Family, and the Good Shepard is gently reminding us of the importance of this.
Thank you God for your many gifts.
He didn’t specifically call out for the protection of the unborn person. I hoped he would have.
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Of course he didn’t, he is a Jesuit. Let’s hope he stays out of politics altogether and keeps his focus on the Word of God. I will give him a fair shake and withold my judgement, but my experience spending 4 years at a Jesuit University is not good at all. For a simple SAT analogy:
Jesuits: Cathechism of the Catholic Church::
Harvard Constitutional Law professors: the Constitution
To protect Jesus with Mary,to protect the whole of creation,to protect each person,especially the poorest,to protect ourselves: this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out,yet one to which all of us are called,so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us!
Some of this sounds like a secularist politician... with God..Biden for instance.. at least he didn’t say global warming when speaking on the environment...yet..
And somebody tells this man Jesus Christ does not need Mary’s protection anymore... to protect Jesus with Mary? I pray that is an error in transcription. .
A Bishop has the Duties to Teach, Rule, and Sanctify.
Pope Francis repeatedly refers to his own self as, Bishop, and, although true in a specific and limited sense, such self-identification carries with it a confusing message for he is, above all else, the Supreme Roman Pontiff and High Priest on Earth and he must Reign and Rule as a Monarch but by his actions and his words he seems to be clearly communicating that Reign and Rule is headed for Rack and Ruin.
It was interesting to hear him refer (not in this sermon) to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI and so those who have eyes that see and those who have ears that hear clearly saw and heard the Primus inter Pares plan of this Pontificate.
By Your words you just do not understand the deep words of what he was saying. Since Christ has ascended into heaven until he comes back the Church is a living witness. He is figuratively talking about bringing the Gospel Christ to protect/ save to the masses like Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to all as stewards. Also being non catholic you certainly do not understand the intercession of the heavenly court which has Joseph and Mary in it. Whenever a Catholic talks flowery in a sense of a saint it never means equal to Christ's power or true role. It is always in the capacity of the power of the saints prayers or what he did on earth at the time.
"Today, together with the feast of Saint Joseph, we are celebrating the beginning of the ministry of the new Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, which also involves a certain power. Certainly, Jesus Christ conferred power upon Peter, but what sort of power was it? Jesus three questions to Peter about love are followed by three commands: feed my lambs, feed my sheep. Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked Saint Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of Gods people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt 25:31-46). Only those who serve with love are able to protect!"
Cheers in Christ!
Your pope said to protect Jesus with Mary....present tense... not like jesus was protected when he was a child but: to protect Him Today with Mary. That he as bishop is called to carry out. Can any Roman Catholic explain those five words with a present tense. Is Jesus still a babe?
Let me make it easier-without the multiple commas and entries- just those first 5 words with his concluding words- TO PROTECT JESUS WITH MARY..
“To protect Jesus with Mary, this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us!
You still do not understand. Everybody is lawyer on these threads. May Christ open our minds. Amen. Peace be with you.
You may not be familiar with Franciscan spirituality, which includes a particular love of nature and creation as a gift and reflection of God's goodness and beauty. He seemed to draw on it at times today.
And somebody tells this man Jesus Christ does not need Marys protection anymore... to protect Jesus with Mary? I pray that is an error in transcription.
He uses the word "protection" in various ways in his homily, that's for sure! It threw me off at first. Here's the condensed version if you didn't read it: He defines what he means by protection in paragraphs 4, 5, 6. He's calling us to ponder the way Joseph cared for Mary and Jesus. He's calling us to see Christ in each other, especially the poor, elderly, children, etc. He's telling us the service to which he feels called as Pope and inviting us to join him in loving Christ by loving others we might be tempted to pass by. In most of the homily he's holding up Joseph as our role model in how to protect (i.e. love). But also addresses openness to God's will and discernment (paragraph 5), and things that thwart our role as protectors (paragraph 7). All of this he discusses as "protection."
He closes by saying he intends to seek Mary's prayers (now and in the future) that he may be a protector (in all the senses he defined the role of a protector in preceding paragraphs) in his duties as Pope. Then he says we are all called to be protectors. Hopefully you now understand that when he says "protect Jesus with Mary" he means to protect (love and serve) Jesus (in the disguise of the poor and vulnerable person) with (by asking the help of) Mary (that is, asking her to pray that we may learn to love better).
He's not saying Jesus needs her to safeguard him as if he's helpless. He's citing her as "exemplar and model" (see paragraph 3) of the type of love and service (i.e. protection) we're called to give.
Other than asking the help of Mary's prayers, I don't see too much for a nonCatholic to object to. But maybe that's just because I've been up over 24 hrs. Anyway, hope this made sense.
So protect really means to serve ? Somebody better tell the police around that their motto of :to Protect and serve is stupid.
Or maybe the church leaders twists everything in those knots that Mary can untie...because he didn’t have to place Jesus in the beginning to get his point across... he could have said protect creation, people, poor.. your explanation is hollow as the only way Mary can be in that paragraph is because Jesus’ name is used....
I agree, for those that truly want to understand, I'm certain that through prayer, that can be achieved. A very good resource for explanations from a Protestant point of view are Dr. Scott Hahn's writings. He understands that perspective, and can address differences. Too many Catholic lay people only know basics about our own faith, much less about other faiths, to be able to defend false allegations.
We really should do a better job, because it is obvious that there are too many false prophets out there, bearing false witness, about other Christians.
I doubt anyone needs to talk to the cops. A lot of them are ex-military. They PROTECTED their country by military SERVICE. The concept isn't really all that hard to understand. In fact we generally regard protecting others as one of the most noble forms of service. Except of course when the Pope says it.
he could have said protect creation,
He did. He said, "Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!"
He did. He said, "It means protecting people..." and he went on to give numerous examples. Later speaking of his task, he said he "must open his arms to protect all of Gods people."
He did. He referred to "those in need" in the paragraph I referenced above. Speaking of his duty, he said, "...embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest..."
your explanation is hollow as the only way Mary can be in that paragraph is because Jesus name is used....
My explanation may indeed be hollow, however I never claimed it was the "only way Mary can be in the paragraph." You are the one setting conditions on her appropriateness there not me.
The Pope referred to the words you mention AFTER outlining specific points about them earlier in the homily. Most people with basic reading comprehension and abstract abilities can understand what he conveyed even if they don't agree with it. Others will choose not to understand because of prejudice. Others will drum up meanings not intended because of reference to Mary. I'll leave it to the Lord to decide who's doing the twisting.
he didnt have to place Jesus in the beginning to get his point across
True. But it was the way he chose to express himself. Apparently he felt no need to seek advice from those who despise him. Peace be with you.
I’ve spent a lot of time and effort trying to explain our faith, only to eventually realize we were talking apples and oranges. For example, a discussion about heaven and why we believe the deceased in heaven are still fighting “the good fight”. After many biblical references, and senseless accusations, turns out my “Jesus believing FRiend” also believed that the Blessed Mother, and all deceased were “sleeping until the Trumpet alarm” goes off. Apparently the “trumpet” alarm hasn’t sounded yet. (There is a church that believes this), Of course praying in unity with our Blessed Mother, or any relative, or saint gone before us, didn’t make sense to her. At 40 years old I was shocked to realize that to certain Christians, Jesus’ mother is equivalent to an idol that deserves to be bashed, or that all those in heaven are actually sleeping. There but for the grace of God go us.
Sometimes there is no point, just ask them to pray.