In a basilica packed with faithful, Pope Francis with the employees of the ministries and institutions linked to the Holy See, is celebrating the jubilee of the Roman Curia. He presides over Mass on the day when Christians celebrate the Chair of St. Peter, time when it sheds light on the mission Jesus entrusted to Peter. The Roman Missal reads “the Church, with the chair symbol emphasizes the teacher’s and pastor’s mission Christ gave to Peter, instituted in his person and in that of his successors, as the visible basis of the Church’s unity”.
“We crossed the Holy Door and came to the tomb of the Apostle Peter to make our profession of faith; and today, the Word of God enlightens our gestures in a special way – Bergoglio said -. At this time, Lord Jesus repeats his question to each one of us: ‘Who do you say I am?'”. It is a clear and direct question, in front of which “you cannot flee, stay neutral, put off the answer or delegate it to someone else.” Francis stresses that in this question, “there is nothing inquisitorial”, it is rather “full of love! The love of our only Master who today calls us to renew our faith in him, recognizing him as the Son of God and the Lord of our lives. And the first one called to renew his profession of faith is Peter’s Successor who brings with him the responsibility of confirming the brethren.”
To answer the Christ’s question, each one of us must let himself be shaped by grace, “to believe”, and thus make Peter’s words our own: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’. Our thoughts and eyes shall be fixed on Jesus Christ, the beginning and the end of every activity of the Church”. Jesus is the basis of the whole ecclesial community. “St. Augustine’s expressive words remind us about it when he writes that the Church, although it is agitated and shaken by the events of history, ‘does not collapse, because it is founded on the stone, from which Peter derives his name. The stone is not called after Peter, it is Peter who is called after the stone; similarly, the Christ does not come from the Christian, but the Christian comes from the Christ.”
From the profession of faith, the Pope reminds us, “each of us receives the duty to answer God’s call.” Bishops and cardinals,” are asked to have God himself, who takes care of his flock, as an example in the first place. The prophet Ezekiel described the way God acts: He goes in search of the lost sheep, leads back the strayed one, binds up the injured, and cure the sick. A behavior that is the sign of love that knows no borders.” This is the model the pastors must follow, “a faithful, constant, and unconditional dedication”, so that everyone “may receive his mercy. No one should feel neglected or mistreated – he continues – but everyone should be able to experience, first of all here, the loving care of the Good Shepherd”.
Those who work and serve the Holy See, are “called to be God’s collaborators in such an important and unique undertaking as that of bearing witness to the power of grace that transforms.” And the Jubilee makes this sign even more visible. Everybody has the task of rediscovering “the beauty of professing faith in Lord Jesus. Faithfulness to the ministry suits well the mercy we want to experience. As we heard from Apostle Peter’s words, we must feed the flock with a generous spirit and become a model for everyone. Thus, “‘when the chief Shepherd will appear’, we will be able to receive the ‘crown of glory that does not wither’”.