YOUR PASTOR CANNOT HIMSELF TAKE CARE OF ALL THE NEEDS OF THE FLOCK, BUT IT IS THESE GOOD WORKERS WHO HELP ME TO LOOK AFTER YOU IN THIS FIELD OF THE FATHER OF THE FAMILY, THEY SOW AND REAP WITH ME

“What more sublime purpose than that of their Institute! Their founder is Jesus Christ, the very Son of God; their first fathers are the Apostles. They are called to be the Saviour’s co-workers, the co-redeemers of mankind” (Eugene de Mazenod 1818 Rule)

In this beautiful passage, Rey gives us an insight into Eugene’s joy at the end of the day of celebration and retreat with the women who worked in the market. The ideal of being “cooperators of the Savior” was what Eugene desired for all the members of his missionary family – here we see it being put into practice by the lay members of his diocese: cooperators of the Savior.

When the ceremony and the songs were over, Bishop de Mazenod came forward to address the assembly: “It is in our beautiful Provençal language that we will speak to you,” said the Prelate, “in that language which is despised only by those who do not know it.”

And indeed, once again a Missionary of the people, he spoke in his former language and with the best Provençal accent he thanked the ladies of the market and all the congregation for the happiness they had just given to their Chief Pastor. If they valued his presence among them on this happy day, it was for him, rather, it was for his heart as a bishop, he said, to express the emotion of gratitude: an entire assembly rising to approach the Holy Table, eight hundred communions and running out of hosts for this universal reconciliation, the need to celebrate a second Mass to provide sufficient.

In the evening again the same eagerness and such beautiful testimonies of faith, this was what had moved him deeply. He proposed, he added, to close the meeting with some good advice, but before that he said, ” mai loit predicatour me leis a leva de la bonco ” (Provencal for: the preacher took the words out of my mouth”). And the assembly shared the Prelate’s amusement. This preacher has left me with only one thing to say to you, and that is my satisfaction for all the good that he and his worthy collaborators are doing: it is my esteem and my veneration for their character, it is my entire confidence in them. Your Pastor cannot himself take care of all the needs of the flock, but it is these good workers who help me to look after you in this field of the Father of the family, they sow and reap with me.

Rey p.204

My call is to be to be a cooperator of the Savior and to assist those in my faith community who are dedicated to be and do the same.

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1 Response to YOUR PASTOR CANNOT HIMSELF TAKE CARE OF ALL THE NEEDS OF THE FLOCK, BUT IT IS THESE GOOD WORKERS WHO HELP ME TO LOOK AFTER YOU IN THIS FIELD OF THE FATHER OF THE FAMILY, THEY SOW AND REAP WITH ME

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Lay Oblate says:

    “My call is to be a cooperator of the Savior and to assist those in my faith community who are dedicated to be and do the same.”

    I take this to heart. I do not know if it was Eugene himself who said this, or Frank or someone else but is the key message that touches me this morning.

    So often my own desire to stand out in a crowd, to do it “my way”, to do it all by myself because I secretly believe (or want to believe) that God has spoken only to me, leads me astray and so I might tend to listen to my own message rather than God’s. My own ego can be like the morning mists that quickly role in obscuring all that is out there and so I see only a few shapes around my residence.

    Prayer and discernment can illuminate those mists, allowing me to see the bigger picture.

    Fairly recently we got a new “Chief Pastor” (Archbishop) to lead our diocese. And during the Synodal Process taking place this past year he requested that we share what was lacking or what more we wanted to see in our parishes – yes to be able to send up our message to be incorporated into the messages going to Rome for the 2023 Synod of Bishops – but also so that he and those who worked with and for the diocese – how they could better serve us in the pews.

    Carrying on the work of Jesus’s first disciples who he himself sent out. We are not doing the sending, but rather we are the ‘sent’. The words “Apostolic Community” come to mind.

    Loving service and discipleship. I think of Mary, the Mother of God whose name we carry and her words “let it be done unto me according to your word”. Her ‘fiat’, her oblation… She is our model of how to say yes to loving service and discipleship.

    I dare to repeat: “My call is to be a cooperator of the Saviour and to assist those in my faith community who are dedicated to be and do the same.” I need, I want to keep these words before me, to be a reminder of who I am called to be.

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