"Strive to make your life a grace for the whole church," Bishop Soto says in remarks at Ordination Mass

On Saturday, June 1 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Bishop Jaime Soto ordained Dean J. Marshall, Manuel A. Rodriguez and Steven Joseph W. Wood to the priesthood, and Ryan P. Mahar to the transitional diaconate. Following are Bishop Soto's remarks from the Mass of Ordination.

As we prayed during the preface, Christ gives the dignity of a royal priesthood to the people he has made his own.  You have been chosen from among this priestly people to be their ministers. With a brother’s love you have been chosen to serve the priesthood of the faithful with the same wondrous love of Christ, who loves them and gave his life for them.  For this reason, we have prayed that you, in company with all of your brother priests and deacons, may give your life for the Church.

How can we even begin to grasp the mystery of this priestly love?  The Lord Jesus so loved his Church that he has chosen you for them.  Because of the particular love he has for you, he has offered you for their sake.  He has chosen you to bear fruit that will last and so that his joy, his Evangelii gaudium, might be in you and you might make the joy of the Church complete. (cf. Jn. 15.11)

St. John Paul reminded us in his apostolic exhortation on the laity, Christifideles Laici, that the ordained ministries are a grace for the whole church.  Strive to make this so. Strive to make your life a grace for the whole church.  The ministerial priesthood is in humble service to the royal priesthood of the faithful so that the one priestly body of Christ may be revealed through spiritual sacrifices for the glory of God the Father.  Sanctify so that the faithful may grow in holiness.  Preach so that the faithful may proclaim the gospel with their lives.  Govern so that the many gifts and charisms of the faithful may yield a rich harvest of mercy and justice.  In these days when a prevailing throw-away culture continues to distain the vulnerable among us, enliven the faithful in the merciful mission of caring for the unborn, the poor, the immigrant, and the incarcerated. 

You are becoming part of a wonderful fraternity of men who together commit themselves to holiness and chastity for the sake of the kingdom.  Your consecration today encourages us in our own.  Let us support one another in that common cause to live in persona Christi, in the person of Christ, remembering always the words of the Holy Apostle Paul in the second reading today, “We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.” (II Cor. 4.7)

In your role as ministers of the sacred mysteries, you have a privileged place to preside over the assembly of the faithful and look upon them as Christ sees them, his beloved, his betrothed.  May your love for Christ, fill you with his love for them so that with John the Baptist you can be that true friend of the divine bridegroom and rejoice always that “he must increase; I must decrease.” (Jn. 3.30)

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Ordination 2019