St. Mark Church Huntersville, NC
Bishop Peter J. Jugis Homily 4-14-18
“Our reading from the Acts of the Apostles this morning tells us, as the number of disciples continued to grow, the Apostles saw the need to ordain certain men to tend to various diaconia within in the Christian community.
We in the Diocese of Charlotte find ourselves in a similar situation. As the number of disciples continues to grow in the Diocese of Charlotte, we see the need to ordain certain men to attend to the various diaconia of the Ministry of the Word, the Ministry of the Altar and the Ministry of
the Charity within the Christian community.
Dear candidates for ordination, the Diocese of Charlotte is growing and the Church eagerly awaits your service to the people of God. Your spouses and families, your friends, your pastors, the deacons of the diocese and the faithful of the diocese are here to pray for you as you
receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The Risen Lord gives us the joy this Easter season the gift of 15 new deacons for the Church. As they are ordained they receive the indelible spiritual character which configures them as deacons the Christ. Jesus said that he came not to be served, but to serve.
Our deacons are ordained to serve. That is their special ministry. Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders they receive the sanctifying grace to equip them for this ministry.
Now, dear sons, you are to be raised to the order of the diaconate. You must maintain a close friendship with Jesus the Risen Lord. It is He whom you are serving. The faithful must be able to see Christ in you. The Master must be recognized in the disciple.
It is in the name of Jesus that you are sent out. Everything that you are able to accomplish will be done in the name of Jesus Christ. If you do not maintain a vital union with Jesus, your ministry will become dull, boring, perfunctory, unable to inspire. Jesus working in you and in your ministry through the Holy Spirit will keep you ministry fresh.
It is a challenging invitation from God you that have chosen to answer, to be a deacon, to integrate your married life, your family life, your work career and your diaconal ministry. It can be done and it can be done very effectively as your brother deacons can show you by the
example of their lives.
The one united principle of all these dimensions is your love for Jesus and your desire to serve Him.After all, when we look at the three-fold ministry that you are about to take on as deacons, Jesus is once again the uniting principle of those three-fold ministries.
The ministry of the Altar and the Sacraments: it is the renewal of Jesus’ sacrifice that you will serve in the Sacrifice of the Mass. He is the author and the ever present actor in the Eucharist and the Sacraments.
The ministry of the Word: it is the Word made flesh whom you are proclaiming and teaching by your word and witness.
The ministry of Charity: it is His attention to the poor, the suffering and sick and all those in need which you will continue in your ministry. Jesus is the uniting principle of the various dimensions of your diaconal ministry.
But you do not ordain yourself. It is the Risen Christ who has called you. But it is a successor of the Apostles who ordains you. The Church authenticates your ministry and sends you forth. You are associates of the bishop and the priests to assist the bishop and the priests. Your ministry will be effective to the extent that you are obedient to the faith and obedient to the Church.
By your ordination, the Holy Spirit configures you to Christ the Servant. The Risen Lord gives you a special strength to serve Him and represent Him in your ministry. That Easter joy which marked the first disciples continues to live on in the Church, not only during the Easter season, but at all times. Easter joy permeates the life of the Church. That Easter joy must at all times give life to your ministry.
You are servants of the Risen Lord who bodily rose from the dead, is alive and is with you. Who came to the disciples and caused them to rejoice. At the sight of the Lord the disciples rejoiced the Gospels tell us.
May the Easter joy imparted by the Risen Lord always accompany you as His deacons. And on the last day, when you go out to meet the Lord, may you be blessed to hear Him say ‘Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.’”
—Transcribed from the audio taped during the Mass by SueAnn Howell, Catholic News Herald. All typos are mine, not His Excellency’s.
Fr. Roberts Homily on Ordination