The Holy Father ordained five new bishops today at St. Peter’s. His homily was noteworthy for he speaks of the centrality of service in the life of the ordained, and cautions against serving one’s own needs or the pursuit of power or prestige in ordained life.
The homily has not yet been translated into English, so I am translating from the original Italian.
“Jesus summarized all these many aspects of his priesthood in a single phrase, ‘The Son of man has come not to be served but to serve and give his very life to redeem the many” (Mk 10,45). To serve, and in doing so to give oneself; to be not for oneself, but for others…. this is the most profound nucleus of the mission of Jesus Christ and also the very essence of his priesthood. Thus, he has mad the term ‘servant’ his highest title of honor…..the Church is not our Church, but His Church, the Church of God. A servant must render an account of how he has managed the good that has been assigned to him. We don’t bind others to us; we don’t search for power, prestige, esteem for ourselves. We lead men to Christ and thus to the living God. In this way we introduce them to the truth and freedom that derives from the truth.”
Although addressed to bishops, these words are apropos to deacons, priests and all who serve in the Church. I think the devil often uses the temptation of power and prestige to lead those ordained to service in the Church away from the truth, away from the people, away from Jesus.
St. Stephen, patron of deacons, pray for us.