Address to the clergy by Archbishop Peter Wells during the Diocesan Missionary Congress (21 – 23 November 2019)
Missionary priesthood (identikit)
according to Evangelii Gaudium
and Pope Francis
As we draw nearer to the beginning of the Advent Season, we will soon pray those “Great O Antiphons” – the Magnificat Antiphons – of the last eight evenings of that beautiful season of expectant longing. Among the many ancient titles given to Jesus there is: “O Radix Jesse” – “O Root of Jesse” (Is 11:1). The Prophet Isaiah uses the image of the tree stump – the root – the source of the branches that emanate from the root, to illustrate a return to dynastic origins (Jensen & Irwin, 1990:237). Jesus is “The Root”. In places like eSwatini this image rings particularly true. Anyone who has grown up in a rural area knows that without strong roots the plant will never flourish.
This is especially true in drought stricken areas, where at times the life giving rains come at rare intervals. Our roots, therefore, must be strong, firm, and lasting.
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