reflections, updates and homilies from Deacon Mike Talbot inspired by the following words from my ordination: Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach...
Sunday, September 3, 2023
Pope Francis offers strong words of encouragement to the faithful of Mongolia at conclusion of Sunday Mass
At the conclusion of the Sunday Mass in Ulaanbaatar, Pope Francis offers his heartfelt thanks to all Mongolians for their warm welcome, and encourages the small Catholic community “to go forward without fear.”
By Lisa Zengarini
Ending the celebration of Holy Mass on Sunday in the “Steppe Arena” winter sports stadium in Ulaanbaatar, Pope Francis warmly thanked Mongolian authorities and all the Mongolian people for their hospitality, and reiterated “how dear the People of God in Mongolia" are to him.
Go forward, gently and without fear
“I embarked on this pilgrimage with great anticipation, with the desire to meet all of you and to get to know you”, he said. “Now I thank God for you, since, through you, He loves to use what is little to achieve great things.”
The Pope encouraged this small flock of faithful to move forward fearlessly, conscious that the Lord and the entire Church is beside them.
“Go forward, gently and without fear, conscious of the closeness and the encouragement of the entire Church, and above all the tender gaze of the Lord, who forgets no one and looks with love upon each of his children.”
Gratitude to those who have supported the young Mongolian Church
Greeting the bishops, priests, religious men and women and all the faithful who have come to Mongolia for his visit from different countries, Pope Francis conveyed his special gratitude to all those who have assisted the young Mongolian Church in these years with their “spiritual and material support.”
May closer fraternity grow
He also offered a warm greeting to members of other Christian confessions and religions in Mongolia, whom he met earlier on Sunday, expressing his hope that ”closer fraternity” may grow, as “seeds of peace in a world tragically devastated by all too many wars and conflicts”.
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Thanking all the Mongolian people for their “gift of friendship” and witness, Pope Francis recalled that “Mass is itself a way of giving thanks”, namely to God, as the greek word Eucharistía (thanksgiving) tells us.
He quoted the powerful words the French Jesuit theologian and scientist Teilhard de Chardin penned 100 years ago not far from the Mongolian capital in his famous “Mass for the World”, in which he expressed his oblation to the Lord for His wonderful works: “Receive, O Lord, this all-embracing host, which your whole creation, moved by your magnetism, offers you at the dawn of this new day”.
“This priest, often misunderstood”, the Pope said, “had intuited that ‘the Eucharist is always in some way celebrated on the altar of the world’ and is ‘the living centre of the universe, the overflowing core of love and of inexhaustible life’, even in times like our own, marked by conflicts and wars”.
He therefore asked the faithful to pray with his words: ““Radiant Word, blazing Power, you who mould the manifold so as to breathe life into it, I pray you, lay on us those your hands – powerful, considerate, omnipresent”.
Pope Francis concluded, amid applauses, with the Mongolian word for thank you, “Bayarlalaa!”, reiterating that the Mongolian people will always remain in his heart.
““Bayarlalaa! [Thank you!]. May God bless you. You are in my heart, and in my heart you will remain”.”