Last weekend, Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ ordained 18 men — 2 priests and 18 deacons — from all around the world at the landmark Gesù Church in Rome.
It was the Jesuit cardinal’s first ordination since Pope Francis ordained him bishop in St. Peter’s Basilica on Oct. 4, 2019, prior to giving him the red hat the following day. Cardinal Czerny carried a wooden crozier and wore a simple pectoral cross made from the wood of a shipwrecked migrant boat as he presided at the ceremony.
CNA last week posted this superb reflection, based on his homily.
Do not expect a map of the unknown land ahead to which you are being sent. It is a daunting prospect to enter uncharted territories. As I said earlier, ministers of the Church need to have the courage of witness, to choose the uphill path of the “new” and not to take the downhill path of the “safe”. May you always have friends and family and companions in the Church to constantly ‘en-courage’ you, even if they can only be with you in spirit.
Keep in mind that discerning the meaning of Christ’s call to us today is a task of the whole Church, not of a chosen few. Don’t try to dominate or own this discernment; instead, accompany others and put yourselves at the service of the discernment of the whole Church…
…Your huge contribution depends on looking honestly and listening sincerely, without thinking that you already have the best answer or all the answers. Try to draw on many people and listen to many voices. However small or large your network is, you will find that it requires both humility and courage to recognize that one cannot do everything on one’s own.
Don’t expect it to be easy, don’t expect it to be without controversy, don’t expect to be rewarded, don’t expect to be liked by others, don’t expect that the critics will acknowledge your difficult struggles, don’t expect quick success. But be confident that you won’t be alone if you let others walk with you.
This is something to pray for, today and always. Ask God to help us see the world as Jesus does, especially in this very difficult time.
The Covid-19 pandemic is showing us the complexity and contradictions of our social and economic systems, where the gap between wealth and poverty is growing out of all proportion, and where so many feel abandoned and thrown away, excluded and unwanted.
Would Jesus not weep for the refugees and migrants who do not receive medical attention because they are “foreigners”, many of them crowded into irregular settlements, who have lost what little they already had and live today in despair? Would Jesus not see the indigenous peoples who are discriminated against for food aid, the prisoners who have been abandoned to the mercies of the virus, and the more than 3 billion poor people worldwide?
I cannot imagine Jesus waiting in an upper room or a sacristy; he would urge us to join him in the margins of the margins, where the courage of life and hope is most needed.
May we enlighten the world with the truth of the Gospel, and propose effective and genial solutions, not just to the present emergency, but to the enormous sufferings of God’s people and of our common home.