16 Notes & Comments

posted Apr 24, 2019, 6:44 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 24, 2019, 6:44 AM ]

Card. Gracias: "Priests must have the smell of the Shepherd"


On Tuesday, April 16, more than 200 priests of the archdiocese of Bombay joined His Eminence, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, and the Auxiliary Bishops to celebrate the Chrism Mass at Holy Name Cathedral, Fort. This annual celebration manifests the unity of priests with their bishop, looking forward to the institution of the priesthood on Maundy Thursday. The priests renew their priestly commitment on this day.

In his homily, Cardinal Gracias continued his reflection on the priesthood, begun at the Ordination Mass on April 6, where he had outlined the profile of a priest in five points drawn from Vatican II, in the context of the Archdiocese of Bombay (Refer to The Examiner, April 13-19, 2019 issue). Going beyond Pope Francis' exhortation to have the 'smell of the sheep', Cardinal Gracias said that priests must first and foremost have the 'smell of the Shepherd'. The lay faithful and people entrusted to the care of a priest must be able to recognise Jesus in them, through their life of holiness, compassion and love. In many ways, we are 'Francis priests', because we are so strongly influenced and guided by the Holy Father's insights and teachings on the priesthood. His pastoral gestures of care, mercy and outreach to those on the fringes of society inspire us to be better priests.


Card. Gracias: Venerate Cross with gratitude


Cardinal Oswald Gracias led the Good Friday ceremonies at the Cross Maidan in Mumbai, urging Catholics to take up their daily crosses, and venerate the Cross of Christ with gratitude.

The April 19 service commenced with the priests walking in silence, and then prostrating themselves before the Altar. After the singing of the Passion Narrative from the Gospel of John, the Cardinal went on to reflect on the meaning and the purpose of the Cross.

"The Cross is unequivocally the centre of today's celebration. It is a celebration of the infinite love of God, and reminds us that when humanity was at its worst, God was at His best," he said. The Cross of Christ is an invitation to us Christians, today, to take up our crosses and follow Jesus, he said.

Everyone has a cross that they carry; it may be a sickness, it may be trouble in the family, a rebellious child, an unsympathetic spouse, a quarrelsome employer, a difficult neighbour; it could be anything and it could be more than just one cross.

"It is these crosses that Jesus tells us that we must endure; but we can go beyond enduring to embracing the cross that we are called to carry, just as Jesus embraced the Cross that He carried. If we embrace our crosses and unite them to the Cross of Christ, they become for us a moment of grace; they bring us freedom and salvation," the cardinal said.


Paris archbishop says Notre Dame cements belief in the Resurrection

Christopher White, CruxNow

Resurrection Sunday in Paris this year served as a reminder that, for Catholics, salvation and new life are the essence of their faith. In his Easter homily, just six days after a fire ravaged the city's historic Cathedral of Notre Dame, Archbishop Michel Aupetit said that saving the body of Christ, in the form of the Eucharistic host, was the first question that crossed his mind, as rescue efforts were underway after the fire broke out.

Recalling the scripture passages where the disciples of Jesus come to find an empty tomb, Aupetit recounted that, "'The Lord is taken from his tomb, and we do not know where he was laid' is Mary Magdalene's breathless testimony to the two apostles Peter and John." "'Where is the body of the Lord?' This is the question that arose on Monday evening at the height of the Notre Dame de Paris fire: 'Where is the body of the Lord?' It was necessary to save the cathedral, the treasure, made up of the pieces of silversmiths' work accumulated over the centuries. It was also necessary to save, for the believers, this infinitely precious relic: the crown of thorns of Jesus brought back by King Saint Louis," he continued.

He then repeated a line that he used in numerous interviews over the past week—a reminder that the grand cathedral was not built to house its treasures, but that of the body of Christ. "It is for this Body, veiled under the appearance of a crumb of bread that this cathedral was built. What is more precious? The cathedral, the treasure or the bread crumb?" he asked.

While he said that rebuilding Notre Dame is a priority, he emphasised that such efforts cannot overshadow the very reason for its existence. "We want to save the cathedral," said Aupetit. "This splendid setting was intended to be the magnificent manifestation of the human genius that pays homage to the love of a God who gives Himself out of love, and who, to give Himself, made Himself one of us." The archbishop also paid tribute to the firefighters and their priest chaplain, Fr Jean-Marc Fournier, who rushed into the inferno to salvage the relics and the Eucharist. "He [Fournier] too took risks to save a crumb of bread, because it was the risen Body of our Lord that we celebrate today, as we celebrate every Sunday, which has become the central day of our week, because it is the day of His resurrection," said Aupetit.