Pope Francis presides over the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, April 6, at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. (Vatican Media photo)

POPE FRANCIS urged 1,880 bishops and priests who renewed their ordination promises to put the Holy Spirit at the center of their lives during Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, April 6, at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. 

In his homily preceding the renewal of priestly vows, the Pope said putting the Holy Spirit at the forefront of life allows for “priestly maturity.”

“Priestly maturity comes from the Holy Spirit and is achieved when He becomes the protagonist in our lives,” he said.

The pontiff encouraged the priests and bishops to always be open to being led by the Holy Spirit, to always be forgiving, and to never deny pardon.

“[W]hen we leave the initiative to the Spirit, and in openness to his plans, we show our willingness to serve wherever and however we are asked. Our priesthood does not grow by quick fixes but by an overflow of grace,” he said.

By allowing the Holy Spirit to imbue one’s life, one can overcome his or her own weaknesses, the Pope added.

“It’s an anointing that penetrates the depth of our reality where the Spirit anoints our weaknesses, our weariness and our poverty, an anointing that brings a new fragrance that of the Spirit, not of ourselves,” he said. 

The Chrism Mass was the Pope’s second following his hospitalization on April 1 due to bronchitis. He arrived in a wheelchair with 47 cardinals, 42 bishops, and 1,800 priests to concelebrate the Chrism Mass. 

The Pope also washed and kissed the feet of 12 juvenile inmates from Casal del Marmo prison during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. He is expected to preside over “an intense schedule of Holy Week liturgies and services.” with reports from Allyssa Mae C. Cruz and Ammiel B. Maestrado


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