From the beginning of Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate he has been committed to renew the fervor of the faith. As he said at his inauguration Mass, “The Church as a whole and all her Pastors, like Christ, must set out to lead people out of the desert, towards friendship with the Son of God, towards the One who gives us life and life in abundance.” Porta Fidei. no 2.
Faith is always in need of being renewed. Pope Benedict talks about the ‘profound crisis of faith that has affected many people.” ibid. no 2. This crisis of faith has also had a profound effect on vocations to the priesthood. It is easy to live in denial but what Pope Benedict says it quite true, that there is a crisis of faith.
We receive the gift of faith at our baptism, the door through which we enter into the Church. Faith is a precious gift. It is like a seed that needs to be watered so it may grow and live.
Pope Benedict says “….we must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the word of God, faithfully handed down by the Church, and on the bread of life, offered as sustenance for his disciples (cf. Jn. 6:51) ibid. no 3.
Our Holy Father wants the whole Church to get involved, to ‘rediscover’ the gift of faith. We have the treasure of the Church to assist us, the word of God and the Eucharist. It is when we stop feeding, then we die, hence it is crucial that we are always being fed by the word of God and the Eucharist.
This Year of Faith is a wonderful opportunity for grace to work in the life of the Church and in our own personal lives. We pray too that this time will produce many vocations particularly to the priesthood, as Pope Benedict says “All the Pastors, like Christ, must set out to lead people out of the desert…..”
It reminds us of the great need for more priests to do the Lord’s work, “The harvest in rich and labours are few.” Priests are in the front line, so they too continually need to be renewed and converted. “Precisely because he can and does evangelized, the priest – like every other member of the Church – ought to grow in awareness that he himself is continually in need of being evangelized.” Pastores Dabo Vobis. no 26.
Kind regards and God bless
Father Eamon Kennedy
11th October 2012