Messengers of hope: Sent to sow hope in arid lands

Udienza alla Comunità del Seminario di Burgos (Spagna)

Vatican Media

The Holy Father Francis welcomed the community of the Burgos Seminary to the Vatican in an emotional audience this Saturday. During the meeting, the Pontiff urged the seminarians to be instruments of faith and hope in a world in need, inviting them to “fill hearts with God” and walk together “in pairs” towards the “empty lands”, carrying the message of the Gospel with confidence and detachment from “false human securities”, and addressed them with the following greeting:

Greetings from the Holy Father

Dear brother bishops.
Dear priests and seminarians,

I am glad to welcome you here today, in the house of Peter, and I thank God in a special way because I see two things in you. The first, a mosaic of races, cultures and ages that have come together to respond to Jesus’ call to the ministerial priesthood. The second, the fact that you are being formed in a place in the world that was perhaps unthinkable for many; a land rich in history and tradition, of vigorous people “because of climate and customs”, but which you now refer to as “la España vaciada”, empty Spain. I am reminded of the beautiful “Catar de mio Cid”, when it talks about Burgos: “Cid Ruy Diaz entered Burgos with sixty banners in tow. They came out to see him, the men and women; the people of Burgos at the windows had tears in their eyes”. This always comes to my mind when I speak of Burgos. I was there in the seventies; I met the archbishop at the time who was related to an uncle of mine, a politician. This is why I remember Burgos.

In reflecting on the reason why God has brought us to the place where we are, it is good to recall the passage of Saint Luke in which Jesus sends His disciples “where he himself was about to come” (Lk 10:1). It is a good criterion for discernment and examination, because we can translate it into our reality with a few simple words: “Jesus wants me to be in this emptied land to fill it with God”, or rather, so that I can make Him present among my brothers and sisters, in order to build communities, to build the Church, the people.

First of all, this purpose is fulfilled if there is a heterogeneous group that recognizes welcome and mutual enrichment. Without charity towards God and our brethren, without walking “two by two”, as the evangelist goes on to say, we cannot bring God.

Then, by showing absolute willingness to the Lord, “praying to Him” to send us, even though we may seem small compared to a task – the harvest – so great. And this is very important. And after, the attitude of surrender and trust, so that the only emptiness is made in our heart in order to welcome God and our brethren – this would be the third thing – freeing us from false human securities.

To have God in us fills us with peace, a peace we can communicate, that we can bring to all peoples, the cities, that we can wish for every place. And in this way you will fill with your light the fields that seem barren, replenishing them with hope. May Jesus bless you and the Holy Virgin keep you.


Holy See Press Office Bulletin, 27 April 2024