EUROPE/ITALY - The deaconate of the Word, the Eucharist and the Poor: homily of Archbishop Mauro Piacenza at the ordination of 38 deacons, Legionaries of Christ
Rome (Agenzia Fides) - “The deacon is a prophet of a new world, the bearer of a message which sheds light on all the burning issues of society. He is also the principal collaborator of the priest in the celebration of the Eucharist. May you live this mission, all through life, with the mission of interior adoration and devotion which are expressions of a soul which believes and is always aware of the lofty dignity of its duties”. These words were part of the homily given by Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, Secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy, on 30 June 2009, in Rome at the Chapel of Centro di Studi Superiori, during Mass for the ordination of 38 deacons, Legionaries of Christ (see Fides 30/6/2009). Some 900 participants, included the new deacons' family members and friends, the community of the Legionaries of Christ, members of the Regnum Christi Movement, priests and faithful of the city of Rome.
In his homily Archbishop Mauro Piacenza explained the triple service of the deacon: the deaconate of the Word, the Eucharist and the Poor. It is the duty of the deacon to proclaim the Gospel and assist the priest in the explanation of the Word of God. A Word which is always eternal and can touch the heart, without hesitation or ambiguity, in a spirit of full fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church. The Archbishop explained that this Word should never be reduced or domesticated to the measure of our commodity: “Instead we must grow to reach the measure of the Lord's Word. A Word which, with its power and purity, can change the culture of the men and women of today freeing them from the multiform slavery of sin ”.
Mgr Piacenza added that “in a special way the deacon is entrusted with the Church's mission of Charity, which is the origin of the Deaconate ”. The deacon is called to be concerned for the needs of others, to notice the suffering of others and to offer himself as a gift for others. “These – he said – are the distinctive elements of the disciple of God who nourishes himself on the Bread of the Eucharist. Love of neighbour must never be simply proclaimed. It must be practised”.
The Secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy concluded his homily speaking of the importance of prayer, addressing the new deacons affectionately he said: “May you set your eyes and your heart on God. May this highest and fullest act of your mission establish the order and the hierarchy of your whole life. Daily prayer, especially before the Blessed Sacrament, will help you rise higher day by day, purifying your eyes and your heart, so that you may see the world with the eyes of God and to love the brothers with His very heart ”.
(SL) (Agenzia Fides 1/7/2009; righe 43, parole 579)