Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI: Significance of the Pallium Bestowed Upon Archbishops

"The metropolitan archbishops appointed since the feast of Saints Peter and Paul last year are now going to receive the pallium. What does this mean? It may remind us in the first instance of Christ’s easy yoke that is laid upon us (cf. Mt 11:29f.). Christ’s yoke is identical with his friendship. It is a yoke of friendship and therefore “a sweet yoke”, but as such it is also a demanding yoke, one that forms us. It is the yoke of his will, which is a will of truth and love. For us, then, it is first and foremost the yoke of leading others to friendship with Christ and being available to others, caring for them as shepherds. This brings us to a further meaning of the pallium: it is woven from the wool of lambs blessed on the feast of Saint Agnes. Thus it reminds us of the Shepherd who himself became a lamb, out of love for us. It reminds us of Christ, who set out through the mountains and the deserts, in which his lamb, humanity, had strayed. It reminds us of him who took the lamb – humanity – me – upon his shoulders, in order to carry me home. It thus reminds us that we too, as shepherds in his service, are to carry others with us, taking them as it were upon our shoulders and bringing them to Christ. It reminds us that we are called to be shepherds of his flock, which always remains his and does not become ours. Finally the pallium also means quite concretely the communion of the shepherds of the Church with Peter and with his successors – it means that we must be shepherds for unity and in unity, and that it is only in the unity represented by Peter that we truly lead people to Christ."

~ Pope Benedict XVI; excerpt from Homily on 6/29/11 ~
~ Related posts about the pallium and about the wool used for the palliums here ~

Archbishop José Horacio Gómez from Los Angeles received the pallium from Pope Benedict XVI during a ceremony in the Vatican. Other three American archbishops also received the pallium: Archbishop James Peter Sartain from Seattle; Archbishop Paul Stagg Coakley from Oklahoma City; and Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, from San Antonio.

Among the 40 new archbishops, also Gerard Cyprien Lacroix, from Québec (Canada) received the pallium. The pallium is a garment used by archbishops as a sign of communion with the Pope.

Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest, Mother of all priests and our Mother, help us respond generously to the Holy Spirit's request, through the voice of His Church, to offer up to God Eucharistic adoration for priests.  Amen.

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