POPE FRANCIS: “THE TASK WHICH THE LORD GIVES US IS THE VOCATION TO CHARITY.”

POPE FRANCIS:
“THE TASK WHICH THE LORD GIVES US IS THE VOCATION TO CHARITY.”

Dear brethren in Christ, below you have excerpts of Pope Francis’ beautiful homily during the canonization of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta reminding us of our vocation to charity through works of mercy in which we serve Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself when we serve those around us, especially those in most need. I thought it useful to remind ourselves of his words and bring them to our personal prayer as well.

Let us ask St. Mother Teresa to help us recognize, love and serve Jesus in our brethren and thus advance through the path of holiness which is nothing but the “fullness of charity” (St. Josemaria)

Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei.

+++EXCERPT OF POPE FRANCIS’ HOMILY
DURING THE CANONIZATION OF MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA BEGINS HERE+++

“There are always two protagonists in history: God and man. Our task is to perceive the call of God and then to do his will. But in order to do his will, we must ask ourselves, “What is God’s will in my life?”…

“I want mercy, not sacrifice” (Hos 6:6; Mt 9:13). God is pleased by every act of mercy, because in the brother or sister that we assist, we recognize the face of God which no one can see (cf. Jn 1:18). Each time we bend down to the needs of our brothers and sisters, we give Jesus something to eat and drink; we clothe, we help, and we visit the Son of God (cf. Mt 25:40).

We are thus called to translate into concrete acts that which we invoke in prayer and profess in faith. There is no alternative to charity: those who put themselves at the service of others, even when they don’t know it, are those who love God (cf. 1 Jn 3:16-18;Jas 2:14-18). The Christian life, however, is not merely extending a hand in times of need. If it is just this, it can be, certainly, a lovely expression of human solidarity which offers immediate benefits, but it is sterile because it lacks roots. The task which the Lord gives us, on the contrary, is the vocation to charity in which each of Christ’s disciples puts his or her entire life at his service, so to grow each day in love…

Following Jesus is a serious task, and, at the same time, one filled with joy; it takes a certain daring and courage to recognize the divine Master in the poorest of the poor and to give oneself in their service. In order to do so, volunteers, who out of love of Jesus serve the poor and the needy, do not expect any thanks or recompense; rather they renounce all this because they have discovered true love. Just as the Lord has come to meet me and has stooped down to my level in my hour of need, so too do I go to meet him, bending low before those who have lost faith or who live as though God did not exist, before young people without values or ideals, before families in crisis, before the ill and the imprisoned, before refugees and immigrants, before the weak and defenceless in body and spirit, before abandoned children, before the elderly who are on their own. Wherever someone is reaching out, asking for a helping hand in order to get up, this is where our presence – and the presence of the Church which sustains and offers hope – must be.”

AUDIO CREDIT:
Palestrina – Credo by The Tudor Consort is licensed under an Attribution License
VIDEO PHOTO CREDITS:
Pope Francis in http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1511373/images/o-POPE-FRANCIS-facebook.jpg
Pope Francis in front of a Crucifix: Reuters
Pope Francis kissing the feet:  L’Osservatore Romano
Embracing a man: AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
Greeting a sick child and his mother: Reuters
With Filipino orphans: L’Osservatore Romano

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