On Sunday, May 12, Pope Francis ordained 19 deacons during a Mass celebration at the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
The event, held in line with the 56th World Day of Prayer Vocations, which is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday, saw 19 men from Italy, Haiti, Japan, and Peru get ordained to priesthood.
According to reports, the Pope’s homily was based on a pre-set formula for Masses of Ordination that are usually performed by bishops. The message, having three important points, encourages not just the newly ordained priests but all those who vow to serve God, to rescue those who are lost, to forever be merciful, and to always give freely as they have received.
Also Read: Pope Francis Before He Became a Priest
Rescue those who are lost
Pope Francis started off his homily by using the story of the Good Shepherd as an example. “Always keep in mind the example of the Good Shepherd who came not to be served but to serve, and to seek out and rescue those who were lost,” he said.
The Santo Papa also reminded the priests about their commitment to the Church, telling them that what they were entering into was “not a cultural association or a trade union,” but “the ministry of Christ.”
Be merciful always
“(Do) not tire of being merciful.” These were the words of the Holy Pontiff who strongly urged the newly ordained priests to always be compassionate to others. “(Be) as merciful as the Father, as Jesus was merciful to us, to all of us,” he said.
Give freely as you have received
In the latter part of his homily, Pope Francis shed light on the celebration of the Eucharist and discussed what it actually entails.
“The Lord wanted to save us freely. He himself told us: ‘Give for free what you have received for free,’” he said. As such, the celebration of the Eucharist, according to the Santo Papa himself, “is the culmination of the Lord’s giving freely. Please don’t soil it with petty interests.”