Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Photos of Paul Beaudoin's Diaconal Ordination
Diaconal Ordination of Paul Beaudoin, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (June 12, 2010), Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Ottawa, ON - FOLLOWING MARY'S LEAD IN SERVICE [Texts: Isaiah 61:9-11; (1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8); Acts 6:1-7; Luke 2:41-51]
My dear ordinand and my dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
If one were to imagine Luke as a preacher of the gospel about Jesus and ask about his favourite motifs, the heralding of “good news” to the poor and outcast would rank high on the list. So also would the themes of the universality of God's saving purpose, the blessings of poverty and the dangers of wealth.
Prominent, too, in Luke's depiction of the way things are for Christ Jesus and His followers, are the role of the Holy Spirit in both the life of the Teacher and His disciples. Prayer and praise of God are frequently on His lips and on theirs, as are the joy and praise which dwelling in God's presence brings.
Luke was deeply aware of the role and significance for the early Christian community of the twelve apostles to whom Jesus entrusted governance of the faith community He established. But the evangelist was equally conscious of the key role played by women in receiving, supporting and furthering God's saving plan during Jesus' public ministry and in the first years of the fledgling Church.
Only Luke tells us that, as Jesus went through the Galilean cities and villages proclaiming and bringing Good News of the Kingdom of God, “the twelve were with Him” accompanied by some women -- Mary Magdalene, Joanna the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Susanna – “and many others, who provided for them out of their resources” (8:1-3). The word that is used of the women's ministry is in Greek diakonein, from which we get the word “deacon”, the ministry to which Paul is being ordained today.
That women, and especially Mary, model a disciple's receptivity to the gospel message is powerfully displayed in the account Luke gives of Jesus’ conception, birth and infancy. Unlike Zechariah's doubting question to the angel Gabriel on learning his wife would conceive (1:18), Mary's question at the annunciation contained no connotation of unbelief (1:34).
Gabriel explained that her conception of Jesus would take place by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit so that her child would truly be called “Son of God” (1:35). Mary's reply manifests the classic expression of trust in all God might ask of a creature, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (1:38).
As the infancy narrative develops, we see Mary continue to ponder on the meaning of what is happening to herself and her Child. After the shepherds come to marvel at their new-born Saviour and Lord we are told that “Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart” (2:19). That same response is hers at the close of the episode where Jesus was lost and then found in the Temple, declaring that He had to be in His Father's house, about His Father's business, “His mother treasured all these things in her heart”.
Today's feast invites us to reflect on Mary's Immaculate Heart, undivided in its openness to the Father's will and always desirous to participate in the saving ministry of her Son. She is a model of the receptivity to God's word that must undergird any ministry of the Church.
The gospel invites us to ponder ourselves on the mystery of family life, the context in which Paul will carry out his diaconal ministry. At the heart of family life are all the joys and happiness of the human condition.
These joys of the people of God who delight in salvation are affirmed in the beautiful text from Isaiah. “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness” (61:10).
When the Lord enters into people's lives, the joy of friendship with God overflows into prayer and praise. Inspired by the Spirit, Mary testified to this, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour”.
But the sorrows, anxieties and concerns of daily human life are not absent from any family life in which parents and children seek to find their own place as they grow to full maturity in Christ. “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety?” And Jesus' reply, “Why were you searching for me?” But they did not understand what He said to them.
And so on this day in which our brother Paul is ordained to diaconal ministry we pray for Linda his spouse, for their two daughters and four grandchildren, that they may enjoy a family life that is truly blessed by the Lord, where each may find his or her right place in God's household.