Why Easter? Why did Christ rise? Saint Peter is unequivocal. The reason Christ died for sins once for all, was that he might lead you to God.
His Deacons and his Priests do the same. Lead people to God. It’s the whole purpose of ordained ministry. Not lead them astray, but lead them to God. Not lead them to himself, but lead them to God. Not lead them where he wants to, but lead them to God.
That’s why Chris and Jim take this oath. Because shortly the Church will ordain them to lead men to God.
The road on which you will shepherd them is not of your own making. It is the road which follows the contours of the Gospel and is paved with the Catholic tradition.
Not all people, indeed and sadly, not all shepherds follow this road. But tonight you promise that you will, recalling the warning of Pope Benedict XVI that “if the Church's teaching is compromised, even slightly....then it becomes hard to defend the fullness of Catholic doctrine in an integral manner....”
He continued: “all too often the Church's doctrine is perceived as a series of prohibitions and retrograde positions, whereas the reality, as we know, is that it is creative and life-giving, and it is directed towards the fullest possible realization of the great potential for good and for happiness that God has implanted within every one of us.” (Address to Scottish Bishops, Feb. 5, 2010)
So thank you, my brothers, for reminding us of the reason why Christ died for our sins. And thank you, on behalf of the thousands and tens of thousands who wait for you out there, for leading us all to Christ.