Saturday, January 29, 2005

from a homily at the ordination to the diaconate

"You will exercise your ministry committed to the celibate state: know that celibacy is both a sign of pastoral charity and an inspiration to it, as well as a source of spiritual fruitfulness in the world. Compelled by the sincere love of Christ the Lord and embracing this state with total dedication, you will cling to Christ more easily with an undivided heart. You will free yourselves more completely for the service of God and man, and minister more effectively in the work of spiritual rebirth.

"Firmly rooted and grounded in faith, you are to show yourselves chaste and beyond reproach before God and man, as is proper for the ministers of Christ and of the stewards of God's mysteries.

"Never allow yourselves to be turned away from the hope offered by the Gospel. Now, you are not only hearers of this Gospel but also its ministers. Holding the mystery of faith with a clear conscience, express by your actions the word of God which your lips proclaim, so that the Christian people, brought to life by the Spirit, may be a pure offering accepted by God. Then on the last day, when you go out to meet the Lord you will be able to hear him say, 'Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.'"

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