Parents and priests are the “mediators” who can help young people discover their vocation, especially that of total consecration. The Holy Father welcomed representatives of Rome’s migrant communities on World Day of Migrants and Refugees and invites people to take part in the Week of prayer for Christian Unity from 18 to 25 January.
In his reflexion before the Angelus prayer with pilgrims in Saint Peter’s Square, the pope urged “priests and parents” to be conscious “of the importance of their spiritual role” as “mediators” who help “people called to recognise the voice of God and follow it.”
The pontiff referred to the Sunday readings (2nd of Ordinary Time, B), about the vocation of the Prophet Samuel and the calling of the first disciples (1 Sam, 3:3-10.19 and John, 1:35-42). “In light of these two texts,” he said, “I’d like to stress the decisive role played by the spiritual guide in the journey of faith, in particular in the response to the vocation of special consecration in the service of God and his people. The Christian faith, in and of itself, posits the proclamation and witness. In fact, it consists in participating in the Good News for which Jesus of Nazareth died and rose, namely that he is God. And thus, the calling to follow Jesus more closely, giving up one’s family to dedicate oneself to the great family of the Church, normally requires the witness and proposal of an ‘older brother’, usually a priest. This does not mean however forgetting the fundamental role played by parents, who, through their genuine and joyful faith and conjugal love show their children that building a life on God’s love is beautiful and possible.”
After the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI reminded everyone that today is World Day of Migrants and Refugees. “Millions of people,” he explained, “are involved in the phenomenon of migration, but they are not just numbers. They are men and women, children, young people and seniors who seek a place where to live in peace. In my Message for this Day, I focused on the issue of ‘migrations and new evangelisations,’ stressing that migrants are not the only recipients but also main players in the proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world.”
During his address, the Holy Father greeted the representatives of Rome’s migrant communities present in Saint Peter’s Square, along with tens of thousands of people.
He also noted that from 18 to 25 January, celebrations for the Week of prayer for Christian Unity would be held in churches. “I urge everyone, at a personal and communal level,” he said, “to join together spiritually, wherever possible and practical, to ask God for the gift of full unity among the disciples of Christ.”