Continuing our commentary on the Holy Father’s homily at the Ordination of Bishops we now move on to another sentence that is pregnant with meaning. He says that the Bishop, and by extension the priest, and even every lay person
“must bring to the poor the Good News, the true freedom and hope that gives
life to human beings, and heal them. “
How do we define the poor? Is the Holy Father speaking here only of those who are materially poor? It seems to me that included in the word “poor” are all those who suffer from want of any kind – material social, spiritual, moral, and psychological want, to name a few. It is to all of these that we are called to bring the Good News.
And what is this Good News? In this context it is the Good News that Jesus has come, and still comes in the Sacraments, to bring us true freedom – the freedom that comes from choosing Christ and His teachings – and hope – the hope that allows us to see beyond our current situation to joy that awaits us in heaven.
Not only are we to bring them the Good News of true freedom and hope, but also we are to bring them healing. This applies in a special way to bishops and priests who are spiritual physicians – doctors of the soul. They are men who are given the particular gift of being instruments of divine healing in the Sacrament of Penance and in the Anointing of the Sick.
What a great call we have been given. Whether we are a bishop, priest, or layperson we are called to be ambassadors for Christ, bringing His Good News to all around us, and that, my friends, is no small thing.