A recent meeting of the Council of Priests began as it always does with a time of prayer and reflection. One of the questions we were asked to reflect on during our prayer was “as we are called to lead major change within the local Church of Wellington perhaps, do we need to be reminded of some basic truths as priests?”
This led into a time of prayer and sharing and included the words spoken by Pope Benedict XVI in his first homily as Pope: “We were conceived in the heart of God and for this reason ‘each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.’” I think we all do well to reflect on those words spoken by Pope Benedict, because unless we know deeply that we are “willed, loved and chosen” it will be hard to lead in this time of huge change and challenge.
Only a few days before our Council meeting Pope Francis had spoken to the clergy and religious during his visit to Madagascar on 5 September. I was thinking of his words as we prayed and reflected at our meeting. The Holy Father said: “I was pleased by something one of the catechists said: ‘We are a Church that is part of a heroic people’. A people that has experienced suffering yet keeps hope alive. With this holy pride that you take in your people, a pride that invites a renewal of faith and hope, all of us today want to renew our ‘yes’. How happy is Holy Mother Church to hear you manifest your love for the Lord and for the mission that he has given you!”
It is a lovely thought to think that we are part of a heroic people. What does that mean for you? We are a people who have experienced suffering, but we keep hope alive! What do we do as individuals and in our communities to keep hope alive? We are invited to renew our faith and hope – do we really want to renew our “Yes?”
The Pope reminds us how happy “Holy Mother Church is to hear us show our love for the Lord and for the mission that he has given us”.
What is your mission?
How do you live out your mission?
How do we work together supporting each other in our mission?
Please remember and pray with the words “each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary”.