Sunday, January 17, 2016

Instituted an acolyte

Today I was formally instituted in the ministry of acolyte. I wrote about this in three earlier blog posts.

It is a call to serve in a special way at the altar and so become more connected with the Eucharist. One of the roles of the acolyte is to assist the deacon and priest; another is to be an extraordinary minister of Communion, especially to the sick.

As I was kneeling before the bishop, I heard him pray these words:
así como participan de un mismo Pan con sus hermanos, así también deben formar un solo cuerpo con ellos; por tanto, amen sinceramente al Cuerpo místico de Cristo, que es el Pueblo de Dios especialmente a los débiles y enfermos
…as you share of the same Bread with your brothers [and sisters], so you should also form one single body with them; therefore, sincerely love the mystical body of Christ, which is the People of God, especially the weak and the sick…
As I listened to these words, I recalled an experience I had almost three years ago in Assisi, in the Basilica of Saint Clare, kneeling before the Cross that St. Francis heard calling him to repair His church.

I knelt and prayed, "Lord, what do you want me to do?" That day I had a very clear sense that Jesus was telling me, 
"Love my people."
"Love the little ones of this world, the poor, the people at the margin."
Here I was, kneeling before the bishop and hearing almost the exact same words, calling me to deepen my commitment. Tears welled up within me.

At the Mass I was also entrusted with distributing Communion, assisting Bishop Darwin Andino and Padre German, our pastor.

I have distributed many times before but today was special and I recalled what often comes to mind as I distribute Communion. As I lift up the Host before the people, saying “Body of Christ,” I often find myself looking at them “through” the Host, focusing on both Christ in the Eucharist and the member of the Body of Christ before me, seeking Communion.

My sense of the Body of Christ in the Eucharist and my sense of the Church as the Body of Christ are intimately connected.

May I serve both!

The three previous posts related to the institution of acolyte can be found here, here, and here.
More photos of the Mass, which included the acceptance of a seminarian as a candidate for the priesthood and the institution of three seminarians as lectors, can be found here.


Artsy Fartsy said...

That was such a lovely experience, thank you so much for sharing it with us. Congratulations. We are praying for you. David and Sherry

Mike Allison said...

Congratulations John!