Bringing and Being Good News
Last Friday evening I participated in a particularly memorable Liturgy at Saint Ignatius Loyola Church near the Boston College Campus. Seven young Jesuits were ordained to the diaconate, in the midst of a celebratory congregation, buoyed by splendid music. The Bishop, who presided, was imposing in voice and personal in manner. I had never seen Archbishop Wilton Gregory in person before; but I shall long remember his mellifluous voice and his striking homily. Here is how he concluded his words to the young men:
As members of the Society of Jesus, you have already professed your desire and intentions to live the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. You have been shaped and formed as men religious in that resolve. You have pondered what those promises mean for you personally. And we rejoice at the decisions that you have made thus far.
You have decided that Christ calls you to perpetual chastity and this evening the Church calls you to renew those promises within this Sacramental ceremony. The world is baffled by our desire to live as chaste men in such a sexually charged environment. The world has grown cynical at the possibility or even the wisdom of living such a life. The public failures of too many of our brothers have given the world ample reasons to be so cynical. What you must do with your lives now is to give that same world a reason to question its cynicism and to doubt its own judgment. You will only be able to do so with prayer and an oneness with Christ that is the fruit of your desire not only to proclaim Good News but to be Good News for the entire world. May the Lord, who has begun the Good Work within you, bring it to fulfillment! Amen!!