Today, December 13, 2020, marks the 51st anniversary of Pope Francis’s ordination to the priesthood in Buenos Aires. He has often reflected on priestly ministry and vocation, and his reflections reveal a life of prayer and closeness to Jesus which have sustained his priestly life.

“An abyss separates the priest from the religious functionary; they are qualitatively different. Sadly, however, the priest can be slowly transformed, little by little, into a religious functionary. When that happens, the priesthood ceases to be a bridge, and the priest is no longer a pontifex, a builder of bridges; he ends up simply having a function to perform. He ceases to be a mediator and becomes simply an intermediary. No one chooses to be a priest; it is Jesus Christ who does the choosing. Priestly existence remains true to itself only when it draws deeply on direct encounter with Jesus Christ. The priest must seek the Lord and let himself be sought in return; he must encounter the Lord and allow himself to be encountered in turn. All of this goes together; it is inseparable.”

Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus, Chapter 2

As he so often asks us, let us join in prayer today for our Holy Father, Pope Francis: 

A Prayer for the Pope

Let us pray for Francis, our Pope.

May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. (Psalm 40:3)

Let us pray.

O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, he may attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Our Father. Hail Mary.

Photo credit: Vatican News

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“No One Chooses to Be a Priest”
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