Pope to priests: Never separate truth, joy, mercy from the Gospel
Friday, Apr. 21, 2017
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Always preach the whole truth of the Gospel with humility and respect and never be afraid to offer that truth just “one sip at a time,” Pope Francis told the world’s priests.
The Gospel is truth, “brimming with joy and mercy. We should never attempt to separate these three graces of the Gospel: its truth, which is non-negotiable; its mercy, which is unconditional and offered to all sinners; and its joy, which is personal and open to everyone,” he said April 13 during the chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
With Holy Thursday commemorating the day Jesus shared his priesthood with the apostles, Pope Francis led the more than 1,500 priests, bishops and cardinals in a renewal of their priestly vows and dedicated his homily to the importance of preaching with a joy that touches people’s hearts. “The priest makes the message joyful by his whole being,” he said, and it is in “little things” that this joy is best shared.
For example, he said, by stepping into today’s “no man’s lands” to bring God’s mercy to forsaken situations, by picking up the phone and scheduling a needed meeting, by patiently allowing others “to take up our time.”
The “good news” of the Gospel is not a thing, he said, but a mission that brings “delightful and comforting joy” to the evangelizer.