Pope in Santa Marta: lacking tenderness, pastors can become rigid
The pope recalled in his homily at Casa Santa Marta that Jesus did not follow a schedule when helping people. He never refused to help even when others made fun of him.
“The shepherd who doesn’t know how to get close [to people] is lacking something. He may be a master in the field, but he is no shepherd. A shepherd who lacks tenderness will be rigid, beating the sheep. Closeness and tenderness are needed.”
The pope praised the priests who fall asleep at night exhausted from "doing good." Pope Francis said that if priests act in this way, people will feel the living presence of God.
EXTRACTS OF PAPAL HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)
“Jesus did not open an office for spiritual counseling with a sign reading: ‘The prophet receives on Monday and Friday from 3:00 until 6:00 PM. Entry costs this much, or if you prefer, you can make an offering.’ No, Jesus does not do that. He doesn’t even open a medical office with a sign reading: ‘The sick may come on such-and-such day, and they will be healed’. Jesus throws himself in the midst of the people.”
“The shepherd is anointed with oil on the day of his ordination: both priests and bishops. But the true oil – the interior oil – is the oil of closeness and tenderness. The shepherd who doesn’t know how to get close [to people] is lacking something. He may be a master in the field, but he is no shepherd. A shepherd who lacks tenderness will be rigid, beating the sheep. Closeness and tenderness are seen here. That’s how Jesus was.”
“Today we could pray during this Mass for our shepherds, that the Lord give them the grace to walk with the people and to be present for them with much tenderness and closeness. When the people finds its shepherd, they feel that special sensation only felt in the presence of God, as today’s Gospel ends: “they were utterly astounded.” This amazement [comes from] feeling the closeness and the tenderness of God in the shepherd.”