My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,1
As you probably have noticed, it has been an interesting week for all of us — a great blessing for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. As you know, last Saturday I was privileged to ordain nine new priests and of course, on Thursday, I ordained a new auxiliary bishop, Bishop Marc Trudeau!
And today, we celebrate this ordination of new permanent deacons.
Dios Nuestro Senor nos bendice con un buen número de vocaciones para el Sacerdocio y el Diaconado. Gracias a Dios! Bendito sea su Santo Nombre!
Every ordination is a time for the whole family of God to think about our calling as Christians, as followers of Christ.
And my brothers and sisters, you and I are called to be “missionaries” of God’s love. Sharing our love for Jesus person to person, heart to heart. In our homes, at work, in school and in our communities.
But God sets some of us apart — for a special calling, a special consecration. And he has done this from the beginning.
As we heard in our second reading today, the first apostles appointed deacons to serve the family of God.
Today, my dear brothers, we carry on that sacred tradition. Through prayer and the laying of hands that comes from the apostles, your names will be written in that long line of deacons that begins with these first heroic men who we hear about today — St. Stephen, St. Philip and the rest.
The deacon is the servant of the family of God.
Queridos hermanos, su ordenación los configura con Jesús en lo mas profundo de Su humildad. Como el Hijo de Dios, se humillo y vino a estar con nosotros, haciendose servidor. Como hijo del hombre vino no a ser servido sino servir. Del mismo modo, a cada uno de ustedes, hoy la ordenacion los hace de manera especial, servidores de la familia de Dios.2
We heard his beautiful words today in the Gospel —
Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant …
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Jesus is calling you to something so great, my dearbrothers! He is calling you to be with him and to be like him. I pray that you will take Jesus as your model. Try to be like him in everything you do. Try to see as he sees, to feel and think as he does; to be holy as he is holy.
“To serve” like Jesus means sharing our lives with our brothers and sisters — using all our time, our abilities and our gifts — to reach the people with Jesus’ saving love.
Jesus nos enseña con su vida, que el servicio es fruto del amor.
Esta es la razón de su ministerio. Hacer presente y real el Amor de Dios en nuestro mundo, a través de sus palabras y sus acciones. Estan llamados a amar de la misma manera que han sido amados, y a través de su amor, a hacer presente el gran amor que Dios tiene por cada persona.
The prophet Isaiah in the first reading tells us what the service of love looks like — it means bringing good news and healing; leading people in the ways of freedom and happiness.
Jesus is sending you today to accompany him on his mission. He is sending you out to share the good news about him.
At the end of the second reading, there is that beautiful image of what happened after the ordination of those first deacons. It says:
The word of God continued to spread,
and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly.
Esta es la incredible misión que Jesus les confía, queridos hermanos, de manera especial el dia de hoy, Dios Nuestro Señor los llama a identificarse con Su mision, difundir la palabra de Dios y llevar a los hombres y mujeres en Los Angeles al conocimiento y al amor de Dios!
So, your ordination is the beginning of an exciting adventure of walking with Jesus, sharing in his mission of love and service.
We are all praying for you and your ministry today. I pray that you will always carry out your ministry with humility and joy. And by the service of your life, may you make God present and lead men and women to find him.
With the whole family of God here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I ask — and I ask you all to ask Mary our Blessed Mother, as today we celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to stay close to our brothers who are ordained today and to all of us in the archdiocese — that we continue to be those missionary disciples that God has asked us to be.
1. Readings: Isa 61:1-3a; Acts 6:1-7; Matt. 20:25b-28.
2. Phil. 2:7; Mark 10:45; Matt 20:18; Catechism 1570.