Anointed by the Holy Spirit Pope Francis Chrism Mass

Pope Francis writes, “Anointed with the oil of gladness so as to anoint others with the oil of gladness. Priestly joy has its source in the Father’s love, and the Lord wishes the joy of this Love to be “ours” and to be “complete” (Jn 15:11). I like to reflect on joy by contemplating Our Lady, for Mary, the “Mother of the living Gospel, is a wellspring of joy for God’s little ones” (Evangelii Gaudium, 288). I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that priest is very little indeed: the incomparable grandeur of the gift granted us for the ministry sets us among the least of men. The priest is the poorest of men unless Jesus enriches him by his poverty, the most useless of servants unless Jesus calls him his friend, the most ignorant of men unless Jesus patiently teaches him as he did Peter, the frailest of Christians unless the Good Shepherd strengthens him in the midst of the flock. No one is more “little” than a priest left to his own devices; and so our prayer of protection against every snare of the Evil One is the prayer of our Mother: I am a priest because he has regarded my littleness (cf. Lk 1:48). And in that littleness we find our joy. Joy in our littleness. “

Pope Francis writes, “It is a joy of being able to share with wonder, and for the first time as God’s anointed, the treasures of the Gospel and to feel the faithful anointing you again.”

The priest is anointed by the Holy Spirit. He is called to share this anointing with God’s people. The priest also is called to feel the faithful anointing him. The oil of the Holy Spirit flows through the entire Body of Christ. 

Saint Athanasius writes, “It was for your sake that the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the Jordan. It was for our sanctification so that we might share in His anointing and so that it might be said of us, ‘Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Holy Spirit dwells in you?” 

Jesus anoint all priests today with a fresh new anointing of the Holy Spirit. May this oil be fresh, pure and holy. 

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