Pope Francis celebrated mass yesterday at St Peter’s Basilica in commemoration of Bishops and Cardinals who have died throughout the year.
They included American Cardinals Edward M Egan of New York, Francis E George of Chicago, William W Baum of Washington, DC, and Canadian Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte of Montreal. Also recalled at the Mass was Armenian Catholic Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni as well as 99 archbishops and bishops from around the world who died in the past 12 months.
Remembering the lives of the departed cardinals and bishops, the Pope expressed his gratitude for their vocation of serving others and said that like them, we too, “are called to reflect on the choice of serving in the church.” The pope explained that although it may be difficult to understand the mystery of Christ’s modesty the secret lies in the strength of a love “that lowers itself” and “assumes the condition of a servant.”
Pope Francis said “Serving and giving oneself for others may make one “seem like a loser in the eyes of the world,” but in reality that person is imitating Christ’s love and service, which conquered death and gave life to the world”
“Whoever serves and gives, seems like a failure in the eyes of the world. In reality, it is exactly in giving their life that they find it,” Pope Francis said.
In remembering the cardinals and bishops who have passed away this year, the Pope said that Christians are called to reflect not on what serves their needs, but rather what serves the needs of others.
Christians, he said, are “not called to be officials who discharge services, but beloved children who give their lives for the world.”