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Pope: Be addicted to an encounter with Jesus, not your cell phone

priest cell phone

Pascal Deloche / Godong

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 11/28/22

Pope Francis had some important advice for young priests today ... but it's something we should all take to heart.

Pope Francis had a word of warning for priests from Latin America that all the faithful would do well to recall: Don’t forget to return to Jesus each night, not to your cell phone.

The Pope said this in a meeting November 28 with young priests of the ‘Pio Latinoamericano’ College studying in Rome. While the Holy Father shared a number of light-hearted comments with these priests of his geographical homeland — for example, thanking them for greeting him with a song, but saying with a local idiom that he couldn’t return the favor because he can only “croak” and it would have been disastrous — the Pope also had some demanding advice.

He spoke of how St. Mark’s Gospel summarizes Jesus’ call with two verbs (3:14): “He appointed twelve to be with him and to be sent out to preach.”

To be with Jesus and to be sent out to preach. Two verbs: “to be with” and “to be sent out.” This is the meaning of our lives. It’s a path of “going and coming,” which has Jesus as the starting point and the arrival point.

The Pope said that this “being with” Jesus also implies being with the needy, and sharing with them the proclamation of God’s love. “Because Jesus is present in these most vulnerable brothers and sisters, and there he awaits us in a special way.”

But then the Pope had a warning:

Don’t forget to return to Him, each night, after a long day … take care: [return] to Him, not to your cell phone.

It hurts me a lot when I see a good priest, a hard worker, tire himself out and forget to pass by the Tabernacle, and he goes off to sleep because he’s tired. He’s right, he does have to sleep. But first, say hello. Don’t be bad mannered. …

And how many times the cell phone is an escape. The cell phone crams us full of stuff. Please, don’t be addicted to this world of escape. Don’t be addicted. These are various steps that go taking away your strengths.

Be addicted to the encounter with Jesus, and He knows what we need and has something to say to us on every occasion.

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