At a special Mass in the Pro Cathedral on Friday (24th April), Dr Diarmuid Martin said that the Pope had set himself as a mission, to do the will of God and be guided by Him, and that this was a task for the mission of the whole Church.
“There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him," said the Archbishop, quoting Pope Benedict.
To evaluate “a mission we need to know what that mission is about and what the means for achieving it are,” he said.
So to evaluate the ministry of the Pope one has to look at the programme which he set out for himself on that day, look at what is the precise nature of the charism of the Pope in the Church and “look more closely at how ministry is exercised in the Church.”
Four years ago, Pope Benedict in his inaugural homily stressed the same attitude as in the first reading – “it is not ourselves that we are preaching, but Christ Jesus as the Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”
“My real programme of governance is not to do my own will, not to pursue my own ideas, but to listen, together with the whole Church, to the word and the will of the Lord, to be guided by Him, so that He himself will lead the Church at this hour of our history”, the Pope said.
The Archbishop continued: “The tasks he sets forth for his mission within the Church are also tasks for the mission of the Church. The tasks the Pope sets out for himself are tasks for us also.”
“So our evaluation of the Pope’s mission must always come out of an evaluation of how we ourselves have responded to the mission of the Church and of all Christians."
The believing Christian must ask himself or herself, “how much have I contributed to realising my role as a Christian in today’s world…. listening to the word of God and being guided by it, rather than placing our own ideas at the centre of our reflection.”
“If we wish to evaluate the success of Pope Benedict’s mission” the Archbishop said, “we have to do so within our own hearts and within our own life within the Church.”
“In that sense we are committing ourselves as the Church in this diocese of Dublin to a period of renewal, of evangelization, centred on the word of God so that our young people especially can come to know the scriptures.”
So it is in this encounter with Jesus that we encounter ourselves and come to know, that: “We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. 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”.(Pope Benedict)
In conclusion the Archbishop urged us to “open our hearts to that love of God and thankfully pray for the ministry through the words and example of the universal Pastor of our Church: Pope Benedict XVI.”The Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Most Reverend Giuseppe Leanza, was also in attendance, with music was by the Palestrina Choir.
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