The Pope told priests that if they “anoint” others by bringing the grace of God to their everyday realities, they will be strengthened in their priesthood.
“A good priest can be recognized by the way his people are anointed,” said Pope Francis during the Holy Thursday Chrism Mass at which oils that will be used in the sacraments are blessed.
“When our people are anointed with the oil of gladness, it is obvious, for example, they leave Mass looking as if they have heard good news,” he said at Saint Peter’s Basilica on March 28.
Pope Francis noted that priests must to “go out in order to experience anointing, its power and its redemptive efficacy.”
He illustrated what he meant by recalling the image of Aaron being anointed with oil as High Priest of Israel.
“A fine image of this ‘being for’ others can be found in the Psalm: ‘It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down upon the collar of his robe’ (Ps. 133:2),” the Pope recalled.
“The image of spreading oil, flowing down from the beard of Aaron upon the collar of his sacred robe, is an image of the priestly anointing which, through Christ, the Anointed One, reaches the ends of the earth, represented by the robe,” he said.
Pope Francis warned that priests who do not do this “grow dissatisfied, become sad and lose heart.”
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