Blessed is the bishop who is not afraid to go against the tide for the sake of the Gospel, making his face “stern” like that of Christ on his way to Jerusalem, without letting himself be held back by misunderstandings and obstacles because he knows that the kingdom of God advances in the contradiction of the world.
It’s important not to misread “stern” in the context of the Lord’s journey to Jerusalem. Jesus was not stern with people; he was committed to the Father’s will. The key is that “stern” applies to oneself and one’s commitments. That is a stance not only for a bishop, but also a parent or a lay minister.
The original text is here, in Italian.