The tenth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis was on March 13th and anniversary of the inauguration of his Petrine Ministry was on March 19th. As we commemorate these special anniversaries, it is worth reflecting on his continual call to all the baptized to share responsibility for the mission of Christ and the Church as missionary disciples. He is simply restating the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. Living this mission is part of our call to holiness.
Pope Francis describes holiness in Gaudate et Exultate “To be holy does not require being a bishop, a priest or a religious. We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves. Are you called to the consecrated life? Be holy by living out your commitment with joy. Are you married? Be holy by loving and caring for your husband or wife, as Christ does for the Church. Do you work for a living? Be holy by laboring with integrity and skill in the service of your brothers and sisters. Are you a parent or grandparent? Be holy by patiently teaching the little ones how to follow Jesus. Are you in a position of authority? Be holy by working for the common good and renouncing personal gain” (14).
Prayer, both communal and individual, along with the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, which Pope Francis has emphasized often, will aid us in living holiness in the way that he describes. Lent is the perfect time to deepen our efforts, always done with the grace of God.
Ad multos annos, Pope Francis!
May the Charity of Christ urge us on!
In God, the Infinite Love,