Unity With the Pope is Life For the Church: Feast of St. Mark, Evangelist

By the will of Jesus Christ, the Church is one flock with one shepherd. The prayer of the Good Shepherd is that they be one as we are one so “that the world may believe that you have sent me” (Jn. 17, 21). The mission of the Church is the mission of Christ. The mission of the Pope is the mission of Christ, and the mission of the Church is that we be one. So much so is this true that Christ founded the Church in order that His people be one. Unity is not added on to the Church. Rather, “God wills the Church because he will unity, and unity is an expression of the whole depth of his agape” (“Ut Unum Sint” #9).

   And do the mission of the Church is not primarily doctrine but unity or oneness. Today is the feast of the evangelist, St. Mark who was an effective cooperator and docile disciple of the Apostles: he put aside his own ideas so as to give faithful expression to the teaching of St. Peter, without the smallest deviation from his doctrine Thus he was perfectly united to the visible Head of the church. St. Mark understood how to keep to his place. He was aware of St. Peter’s primacy in the Church, and he realized that his mission at St. Peter’s side consisted in transmitting faithfully the teachings of the Prince of the Apostles, being docile to divine inspiration. And so he composed one of the four Gospels, something for which he will always be remembered in the Church.

Remarks of St. Josemaria on union with the Hierarchy (hierarchy = holy origin).

               “You know well, the heartfelt love that I have for the Pope and the Holy See, and you have heard me speak about how we must always defend their authority, and be ready to rectify any of our opinions, in a filial and docile way, in line with Church’s Magisterium.

               I would bit off my tongue and spit it far away a thousand times over rather than utter the least gossip about the one I love most on earth after our Lord and Holy Mary: Il dolce Cristo in terra as I usually say it to you, repeating the words of St. Catherine of Siena.

               “Our union with the Roman Pontiff makes us feel most united to the local Ordinary in each diocese, and will always do so. I usually say, and it’s true, that we pull and always will pull the cart in the same direction as the Bishop. If ever a Right Reverend Ordinary were not to see it that way and thought he saw incompatibilities that cannot exist, I would be very sorry. But, as long as it did not affect what is essential, I would give in. And you likewise should give in and make no difficulty about it. Because the only thing that motivates our self-giving is the desire to give God all the glory, serving the Church and all souls without seeking any glory for the Work or any personal gain.

               “Foreseeing these possible difficulties, which sees very unlikely to me, you know that we pray each pro unitate apostolatus, in order to obtain from our Lord from the beginning of the Work this internal and external union with the local Ordinary and with all the souls who are engaged in whatever kind of apostolic work. It is a unity that is conferred only by the Pope, for the whole Church; and by the Bishop, in communion with the Holy See, for the diocese…. [my emphasis].

               “If you live out this spirit, you will always keep closely united with filial affection to the Roman Pontiff, who as Vicar of Christ confers unity upon the whole Catholic Church, and with the Bishops who, under Peter’s authority, govern the dioceses…

               “My children, we can say that the concern and the responsibility for the entire Holy Church … and not just of this or that particular part of it, weighs upon us. Backing up the official responsibility of the  Roman Pontiff and of the Right Reverend Ordinaries – which is a juridical responsibility, and is theirs de iure divino, by divine law – we serve the whole Church with a responsibility which is not juridical, but rather one which is spiritual, ascetical, of love, offering a service or a professional nature, as citizens who bring a Christian witness of example and doctrine to the furthermost reaches of civil society.

               Union with the Head: to serve the Church, the Pope and all souls with and simplicity, without ostentation, faithfully, without looking for any payment on earth: this is what the evangelist St. Mark teaches us, with his life as well. Perhaps he learned it directly from our Lord when he was young, for… Jesus liked to meet with his disciples in the house of Mark’s mother in Jerusalem. Or perhaps the Blessed Virgin taught it to him, for she might have stayed in that house with the first disciples after Jesus’ death as they awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s