TO BECOME PASTOR AND FATHER, INVESTED WITH THE VERY AUTHORITY OF JESUS CHRIST WHOM I MUST REPRESENT

Eugene’s retreat reflection continued on the meaning of the bishop as the representative of the Good Shepherd in his diocese:

I give you thanks, O Lord, for having made shine forth this light from the sacred deposit of your Holy Scriptures. As you show me the way I should follow, and give me the desire to follow it, you will also give me the powerful help of your grace so I may tread it with a firm step, and with perseverance. I expect no less of your usual goodness, that mercy that my infidelities have never wearied and which inspires me even in this moment with so much trust. I shall without delay put out my hand to the work, for time is pressing.
From the first day I can be canonically instituted, that is to say, placed by Jesus Christ to watch over the fold, charged to instruct it, feed it, edify it… to become pastor and father, invested with the very authority of Jesus Christ whom I must represent in the midst of that portion of his flock that will become thus my own flock for which I shall have to render an account to the Sovereign Pastor of our souls who will have given them to me to save them in sacrificing myself for them.

Retreat preparatory to taking possession of the episcopal see of Marseilles, May 1837, EO XV n 185

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One Response to TO BECOME PASTOR AND FATHER, INVESTED WITH THE VERY AUTHORITY OF JESUS CHRIST WHOM I MUST REPRESENT

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    So this then is what it means to be a Co-operator of the Saviour, to be mounted on the cross alongside our Saviour. This is not a melodrama – but rather a prayer renewing his trust in God and offering yet again, his oblation – the gift of himself to God.

    The idea of God asking me to follow him – that filled me with a certain dread. The idea of feeling inspired to have jesus and his apostles as my model – surely God would not as that from one such as myself. I was sure that God only wanted those who were saintly, those who were very ‘religious’, those who were far and beyond being ordinary people. Still – I was drawn towards that idea.

    What do you want God? What do you ask of me? Always the answer is “everything”. Just one word; spoken quietly from within the depth of the universe and beyond. Everything.

    What does it look like for each of us – for members of this Mazenodian Family? It looks a little different for all of us, whether we be religious priests or lay persons, man or woman. It looks like who we are called to be as seen through the eyes of our God.

    I think of the words of Wilfred Mvula who, with a friend, formed a group of young people, the Young Oblate Missionary Associates (YOMA) in Zambia and who work with the Oblates in serving the poor in the missions there. Everything – not just for a few ‘special’ people but for all who are called to stand in the light of St. Eugene and then to share that with those they meet and serve.

    To become Co-operators of our crucified Saviour; that is how Eugene, priest, founder and bishop live out his life. That is the invitation and Eugene shows us how to accept it.

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