Monday, 14 September 2009

Faithful servants

Last Saturday the Holy Father ordained some new bishops. As ever the homily was very powerful. I have not seen a English translation of it so far. I took the liberty to translate a paragraph that struck me most. Here goes:

The first characteristic that the Lord expects from the servant is faithfulness. A great good is entrusted to the servant, a good that did not belong to him in the first instance. The Church is not our Church, but His Church, the Church of God. The servant has to render account of how he has managed the good entrusted to him. We do not look for popularity, power, esteem or status. We lead people to Jesus Christ and so to the living God. This way we lead people in truth and freedom that comes from Truth. Faithfulness is altruism and so gives the freedom to the servant and those entrusted to his care. We know that in society, and sometimes even in Church, we suffer because those entrusted with responsibility work for their own good and not for the good of the community, the common good. The Lord sketches with a few words the image of the bad steward who oppresses his dependants, thus betraying his calling. In Greek, the word that means faithfulness coincides with the one that denotes faith. The faithfulness of the servant of Jesus Christ also means that he does not attempt to conform the faith to the fashions of the fleeting world. It is only Christ who has the words of eternal life, and it is these words that we need to make available to all people. These life-giving words are the supreme good that has been entrusted to us. Faithfulness to these words is not sterile and static but creative. The master reproaches the servant who, to avoid any risk, hid the talent in the ground. This way the servant has put away the good of the Master so that he can concentrate solely on his own affairs. Faithfulness is not being afraid, but is inspired from love and its life. The Master acclaims the servant that has multiplied his goods. Faith asks to be shared: it was not given for our personal use, for saving our souls, but for others, for this world and for our times. We must strive to witness with our faith in this world until it becomes a living force; to make all aware of the presence of God.

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