The Prelate, in Germany: "Let us strive to be instruments of unity"

On Saturday morning, August 19, over 500 people attended a Mass celebrated by Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz in the parish of Saint Pantaleon, in Cologne.

The Prelate of Opus Dei, who has been in Germany since August 5, concelebrated with 30 priests of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross.

(A translation of Monsignor Ocáriz’s entire homily can be found here.)

“Making Christ present in our own setting" was one of the ideas stressed by Monsignor Ocáriz in his homily: “Each of us in our own environment, in our family, our work, our social relations, can and should make present the Gospel, make present Christ. What a marvelous mission, despite our own weakness!”

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“Let us strive to be instruments of unity in the Church,” the Prelate said, “by being instruments of unity in our own family, in our own setting, in our ordinary life.”

He also recalled some words of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the beginning of his pontificate: There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.”

At the end of the Mass, which was offered especially for the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Barcelona, Monsignor Ocáriz thanked God for wanting the Church to truly be a great family, and asked that its faithful may always be closely united among themselves and with the Pope: “May each of our days contain frequent prayer for the Pope, for his intentions, for his work as shepherd of the universal Church.”

Three young Iraqis

A large number of families and young children attended the Mass. Among the young people present were three Syriac Catholic Iraqis, Larsa Larmiin and Melda, who were forced to flee with their families from Mosul. A few weeks ago, the three of them took part in a summer camp in the Eifel region of Germany organized by women of Opus Dei.

Before the Mass, the Prelate had a get-together with priests of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross. Monsignor Ocáriz encouraged them to foster a joyful hope, certain that “not a single ‘iota’ of their pastoral work is wasted, despite sometimes not seeing the fruit.” He pointed to Saint John Marie Vianney, the Curé of Ars, as an example of so many people deciding to convert and lead a Christian life thanks to divine grace and the persevering work of a priest. “It’s not a question of a naïve optimism, but rather of fostering in our soul the virtue of hope in God, who never defrauds us and who is the source of our joy and good humor.”

Finally, he asked the priests to strive to be united with their own bishop and with the Holy Father. He urged them to pray perseveringly for Pope Francis, who always asks each person he meets and in each letter he writes for the alms of our prayer.

If love is lacking

During a get-together with faithful of the Prelature on Saturday afternoon, the Prelate stressed the close relationship between freedom and love. “If ever our personal or family obligations start to seem a burden to us, we should ask ourselves if our love if lacking. And we can go to our Lord in our prayer and ask Him to increase our faith.”