Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Zenit gives the full text of Pope Benedict's May 7th ordination homily mentioned here before in connection with the problem of careerism in the priesthood. It is through (Jesus) that one must enter the service of shepherd. Jesus highlights very clearly this basic condition by saying: "He who ... climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber" (John 10:1). This word "climbs" -- anabainei in Greek -- conjures up the image of someone climbing over a fence to get somewhere out of bounds to him. "To climb" -- here too we can also see the image of careerism, the attempt to "get ahead," to gain a position through the Church: to make use of and not to serve. It is the image of a man who wants to make himself important, to become a person of note through the priesthood; the image of someone who has as his aim his own exaltation and not the humble service of Jesus Christ. But the only legitimate ascent toward the shepherd's ministry is the Cross. This is the true way to rise; this is the true door. It is not the desire to become "someone" for oneself, but rather to exist for others, for Christ, and thus through him and with him to be there for the people he seeks, whom he wants to lead on the path of life. On a side note, I was struck by the varied Scriptural references in the pope's homily. Note also he doesn't shy away from modern Scripture scholarship, in using word study to bring home a point.

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