Thursday, May 8, 2014

The gift of the priesthood: Daily Mass Homily--Thursday, May 8th, 2014

           Our first reading will always remain dear to our heart because my classmates and I picked it for our ordination to the diaconate.  While a man is ordained a deacon into Christ’s service (this is what the Greek word diakonia means), two of his most important jobs are to baptize and to preach.
            Philip—one of the original seven deacons—does both with the Ethiopian eunuch.  Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this Scripture passage, he proclaimed Jesus to him…the eunuch said, ‘Look, there is water.  What is to prevent my being baptized?’  Then he ordered the chariot to stop, and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water, and he baptized him.”  To this day I cherish the gift of preaching and baptizing.
            Since becoming a priest I have had the humbling gift each day of presiding at Mass.  This connects what Jesus proclaimed—“I am the bread of life…and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world”—with our own spiritual lives today.
            In each role I serve I am humbly grateful.
            Yet this gratitude extends beyond my own priestly ministry.  I thank God for the many ordained men through which I was baptized, forgiven, fed, ordained and counseled.  If it wasn’t for the priesthood we could not have the sacraments, and for that we should all be thankful. 

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