“There are five ‘closeness’ verbs that Jesus lived by and they indicate the criteria of the ‘final protocol’: see, call, speak, touch and heal. These will be used to judge not only the shepherds, the first to run the risk of “hypocrisy”, but all men. With the warning that fine words and good manners are not enough, because Jesus asks us to touch the flesh of others, especially if they are suffering”. This is the path of the good shepherd that the Pope indicated in the Mass celebrated on 30 October 2017 in Santa Marta.
“The good shepherd does what God the Father did, he got close for compassion, mercy, to the flesh of His Son, that is a good shepherd. And the great shepherd, the Father, taught us how to do it: He abased Himself, He emptied Himself, He humiliated Himself, He took on the condition of a servant.
The criteria of the final protocol – the Pope ended – are the criteria of closeness, the criteria of this total closeness for touching, sharing the situation of God’s people. And let’s not forget this: the good shepherd is always close to people, always, like God our Father he came close to us, in Jesus Christ incarnate”.