Pope to Bishops: Show courage. Stand up against a culture that only seeks convenience
As part of the Year of Faith and of course World Youth Day, Pope Francis celebrated a Mass with hundreds of bishops, priests, seminarians and religious, in Rios St. Sebastian Cathedral.
During his homily, the Pope said they need to be aware of their divine vocation, so they can spread the Gospel efficiently.
"It is not pastoral creativity, or meetings or planning that ensure our fruitfulness. They do help a lot, but it's all about being faithful to Jesus.â?
When it comes to living out the Gospel, the Pope said, they must help young people understand that evangelizing doesn't have to mean leaving one's country. Evangelizing he said, can be at home, with friends, at work and with the family. Once again, he encouraged priests to go beyond the parish walls.
"Jesus did this with his own disciples: He did not keep them under His wing like a hen with her chicks. He sent them out! We cannot keep ourselves closed off in parishes, in our communities, when so many people are waiting for the Gospel.â?
The Pope then added that they must show courage and actively reject a growing culture that promotes what's convenient and not what's right. He added that in a society where there is no room for the elderly or the unwanted child, they must take a stand and speak out.
"Read the first book of the Maccabees. It describes how they wanted to be in tune with the culture of the time. They said, culture, sure let's take a bit of everything like everyone else. Laws? Sure, just as long as it's not too much. But in time, they began to lose their faith because they tried to be compatible with the culture of that time. Have the strength to go against this. Stand up against a culture that only accepts what's convenient and throws out the rest.â?
Towards the end of his homily, the Pope prayed to Our Lady, so she may guide them in their vocation.