Installation of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion – April 29, 2014

My dear friends,

Your installation today as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion comes at an incredible time in the history of the Church, of our Archdiocese and of our parish.

The Church Universal remembers through the Paschal Mystery the original kerygmatic message of the Kingdom; the deliverance of humanity from sin & death and the infusion of the breath of God into the life of every person.

Our own Archdiocese has been moving toward a renewal of faith, transforming that great Catholic tradition that built up a fledgling immigrant population only to continue this tradition even today as we welcome other immigrant peoples to our shores and into our parishes.

“The community of believers was of one heart and mind and with great power the Apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all.” We are coming back to the beginning of the charismatic message:  “He is not here, he has been raised.”

The evidence of this great event is made manifest in the increasing numbers of Christian martyrs around the world. The martyr’s blood is the life blood of our Church, because like Christ, it is a sacrifice of life for the life of the Gospel of Truth.

Here in Upper Merion, we are waiting to hear from our Archbishop how we can help him as our pastor to reinvigorate the faith of our region. As pilgrims we walk with him on a great service of love.

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”(St. Augustine)

 In other words, you have become the embodiment of the Church Herself, Who through Her suffering transforms the human person into the Body of Christ Whom we are meant to serve with love.  

Your installation today also calls you to personal holiness and docility to the Will of the Holy Spirit. “‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

You must become compliant to the work the Church gives you as She is the dispenser of graciousness and the voice of Divine Providence. Keep the flame of the Holy Spirit alive in your heart as you carry Holy Communion to the sick, to those who feel alone, discouraged, afraid or perhaps lost. I am sending you out to these people who are poor in the communion of saints. You will rejuvenate them, assure them of our prayers for them, and proclaim the Good News that God is with them at every moment, even in suffering.

“And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

I have asked the Archbishop to give you a mandate this evening; mandates to go out in my name to those you have been assigned. It is a personal service for which I am grateful. Pray at every moment of the day and actively participate in the full sacramental life of the Church, transforming your service into an act of love.

You should not be afraid to love nor should you be afraid to be loved, for to be caught by the Hand of God is the greatest adventure of all.