Pope Francis on Friday evening met with participants of the International Conference on Catechesis, organized for the Year of Faith, which is meeting under the theme “Catechist: A Witness of Faith”.
Speaking to two
thousand catechists, Pope Francis them for their service to the Church,
called them a “pillar” for education in the faith. The Holy Father
reminded them that he, too, is a catechist, and being a catechist
“begins with Christ.”
“The first thing, for a disciple, is to be
with the Master: to listen to and learn from Him,” said Pope Francis.
"This is always the case, and it is a way that lasts a lifetime!"
Francis said such moments can be difficult to find, especially for
those who are married and have children, but emphasized there are a
variety of forms of spirituality, and the important thing is to find a
suitable way to be with the Lord.
Pope Francis also said catechists must imitate Christ in reaching out to others.
is a beautiful experience, and a bit paradoxical,” he said. “Why?
Because the person who puts Christ at the centre of his life is
off-centre. The more you unite with Jesus and make Him the centre of
your life, the more He makes you abandon yourself, decentralize
yourself, and open yourself to others.”
He said this was the life in Christ.
the heart of the catechist, there always lives this ‘systolic-
diastolic’ movement: union with Jesus; encounter with the other,” the
Pope said. “If at one of these two movements is no longer beating, then
you do not live.”
Pope Francis also told the catechists to not be afraid to “go with Christ to the peripheries.”
“Jesus does not say: go, make do. No! Jesus said : Go, I am with you!,” emphasized Pope Francis.
is our beauty and our strength: If we go, if we go out to bring his
Gospel with love, with true apostolic spirit , with frankness , He walks
with us , before us always [preceding] us.”
He said this is crucial to remember.
When we think of going to a faraway place, an extreme periphery, and
maybe we are a little afraid, in reality He is already there: Jesus
awaits us in the heart of that brother, in his wounded flesh, in his
oppressed life, in his soul without faith...[Jesus] always goes there
before us ,” he said.