Pope Francis met with thousands of seminarians and novices who came to Rome for a four day event on the Year of Faith. During his speech, the Pope was very direct. He reminded the group that following God's call isn't a temporary or part time option. This, despite the temptations of the modern world.
“Becoming a priest, religious or nun, isn't about a choice we make entirely ourselves. I don't trust a seminarian, or a novice, who says 'I chose this path.' I don't like this! It's not right. Our answer is triggered by a call to love. It's something you feel inside. Something that's unsettling. To this, you respond, 'Yes.' "
Then on Sunday Pope Francis celebrated mass with the hundreds of seminarians, novices, consecrated lay persons and clergy in St. Peter's Basilica Sunday, calling their vocation a "mission."
In his homily, Pope Francis spoke of the three reference points of Christian mission: the joy of consolation, the Cross and prayer. “Mission originates,” he said, “from the Lord’s call,” with which he sends them out.
The first part of mission is the joy of consolation, an invitation to become ever closer to God’s love and consoling embrace to become effective witnesses in the Church: “every Christian, especially you and I, is called to be a bearer of this message of hope that gives serenity and joy: God’s consolation, his tenderness towards all.” Religious are called to bring comfort to others, and “to bear witness to the mercy and tenderness of the Lord, which warms the heart, rekindles hope, and attracts people towards the good.”
The second part of mission , the Cross, the Paschal mystery, is a symbol of “suffering, weakness and defeat, but also joy and consolation.” “If we remain within this mystery,” he said, “we are sheltered both from a worldly and triumphalistic view of mission and from the discouragement that can result from trials and failures.”
Finally, the third element of mission, Pope Francis said, is prayer. “The labourers for the harvest are not chosen through advertising campaigns or appeals for service and generosity, but they are ‘chosen’ and ‘sent’ by God. For this, prayer is important. The Church…is not ours, but God’s.”Evangelization, he continued, “is done on one’s knees” and requires “a constant relationship with God” so that mission isn’t merely seen as one’s “job.”
Pope Francis called the young people to “cultivate the contemplative dimension, even amid the whirlwind of more urgent and pressing duties.” And the farther their mission takes them, “let your heart be the more closely united to Christ’s heart, full of mercy and love.” “What counts,” he said, “is to be permeated by the love of Christ.”
Full text of homily HERE