At Mass this morning Christopher Fedoryshyn and Christopher Peschel, both Candidates for the Diaconate, recited the Nicene Creed and took the Oath of Fidelity to the Church in the presence of the Seminary Community. Here's an excerpt from this morning's Gospel, my homily, and the Oath which they both professed on a Bible belonging to Bishop Cheverus, the first Bishop of Boston and all of New England.
"While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, “All that you see here–the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”
Luke 21: 5
HomilyThe Tabernacle we will soon build here will some day come down. Its onyx will be smashed, its alabaster ground to dust and the gold on its door cast to the wind.
Just as in this chapel, some day, not a stone will remain upon a stone. That roof will fall in, the walls will collapse and all those paintings will fade from the rain and the snow and the ice that will freeze across their surface.
And this body of mine, on a day even sooner than that, will cease to breath and the heart will stop and it will start to decay and smell and you will bury it in the earth in expectation of the day of the Lord’s coming.
And all my mighty accomplishments will be forgotten, like the faded letters etched into an old marble gravestone, no one will be able, or care to, read a line of all those marvelous accomplishments listed on my curriculum vitae.
It all fades and turns back to the dirt from which it came. All dies, save three things:
Faith, hope and love.
The faith our brothers profess today the hope which they will preach with their words and their lives and the love which endures forever, unto the resurrected glory of the heavenly Jerusalem,
before the face of God.
Oath of Fidelity
I, in assuming the office of Deacon, promise that in my words and in my actions I shall always preserve communion with the Catholic Church.
With great care and fidelity I shall carry out the duties incumbent on me toward the Church, both universal and particular, in which, according to the provisions of the law, I have been called to exercise my service.
In fulfilling the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety; I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings contrary to it.
I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the entire Church and I shall maintain the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law.
With Christian obedience I shall follow what the Bishops, as authentic doctors and teachers of the faith, declare, or what they, as those who govern the Church, establish. I shall also faithfully assist the diocesan Bishops, so that the apostolic activity, exercised in the name and by mandate of the Church, may be carried out in communion with the Church.
So help me God, and God’s Holy Gospels on which I place my hand.