Vatican City, 11 May 2014 (VIS) – At midday today, after celebrating Mass for the ordination of thirteen new priests, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Regina Coeli with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. He commented on today's Gospel reading, the parable of the Good Shepherd, which exemplifies “the type of relationship Jesus had with His disciples: a relationship based on tenderness, love, mutual understanding and the promise of an incomparable gift. 'I came that they may have life and have it abundantly'”.
This bond, Francis said, “is the model for relations between Christians and for all human relations”, and although “today, too, many propose themselves as pastors for our existence … only the Risen Christ is the true Pastor, able to give us life in abundance”.
He invited all present to pray for the pastors of the Church, for all the bishops, “including the bishop of Rome, and for all priests. For all of them! In particular, let us pray for the new priests of the diocese of Rome, whom I ordained this morning in St. Peter's Basilica. A greeting to these thirteen priests! May the Lord help us, as pastors, always to be faithful to the Master and to be wise and enlightened guides for the people of God entrusted to us. I ask you too to help us: help us to be good pastors”.
In this regard, the Pope explained that once he read a text by St. Caesarius of Arles, a priest of the first centuries of the Church, who explained how the people of God can help their pastor, with the following example: “When a calf is hungry he goes to the cow, his mother, for milk. However, the cow does not give it to him immediately; it almost seems as if she keeps it for herself. And so what does the calf do? He nudges the cow's udder with his nose, and in this way the milk comes. It is a beautiful image. And this, says the saint, is what you must do with your pastors: always knock at their door, at their heart, so that they give you the milk of doctrine, the milk of grace and the milk of guidance. I ask you, please, to trouble your pastors, to disturb them, all of us, so that we can give you the milk of grace, doctrine and guidance. Bother us! Think of that beautiful image of the calf who nudges his mother to feed him”.
“This Sunday we celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Vocations”, he continued. “This year's message tells us that 'every vocation always requires an exodus from oneself in order to centre one’s life on Christ and on His Gospel'. Therefore, the call to follow Jesus is exciting and challenging at the same time. ...Let us pray that, even in these times, many young people may hear the voice of the Lord, that always risks being suffocated by so many other voices”.
Following the Marian prayer, the bishop of Rome greeted, amongst others, the neocatechumenal communities that “on these Sundays during Easter time proclaim the Risen Jesus in one hundred squares in Rome and in many cities throughout the world. May the Lord give you the joy of the Gospel! And carry on your good work!”. He also offered a special blessing to the children who in these months have received or will receive their First Communion, and finally he encouraged all present to dedicate “a good memory or a prayer to all mothers. … Entrusting them to the mother of Jesus, we pray to the Virgin for our mothers and for all mothers. … A warm greeting to all mothers”.