Do you remember motto of the three Musksteers? Yes!~All for one and one for all!- but, I wonder how many can remember their names?. They were real heroes to us boys as we grew up playing with our swords made of sticks and so on. I guess times change and every generation has their new heroes. But there is one hero that outdoes every generation- it’s the Trinity with that perfect relationship of Love.
It’s God who creates, Jesus the Son who cooperates, and the all powerful Holy Spirit who speaks to us in the quiet of our hearts. Although the Church asks us today to place a particular emphasis on the Trinity, we actually do so every time we make the sign of the cross, and every time we profess our creed, we speak of the reality of the Triune God.
God’s called us to worship around this altar. To give thanks and to offer ourselves at this celebration. We pray that the Holy Spirit will come make our offering the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Fed by Christ, we go into the world on mission to God's people. Following the direction of the Holy Spirit we will cooperate in creation by building up the Body of Christ.
Saint Ignatius, one of the founders of the Jesuits, underwent a great struggle before he came to understand how to cooperate in God's plan. As a soldier, he was seriously wounded and sent to a castle in Spain to rest and recover from his wounds. After a long recovery he was filled with a tremendous zeal, and started his quest but he
experienced only failure and rejection.
One day, while very miserable, he met God, and realised that like Christ, he too was suffering rejection. Consequently he knew that he wasn’t dong God’s will, but really “doing his own thing.”. Eventually through prayer and reflection Ignatius realised that the Holy Spirit was really calling him.
He found that, like Jesus, he had to surrender to the will of God the Father. Once he surrendered, the Holy Spirit revealed God's plan, and he eventually did formal theology studies and religious training. Soon, he met with others who became the Jesuit community whoare dedicated to building up the Body of Christ. It was only after Ignatius
listened to what the Spirit planted in his heart, that he was able to follow Christ.and so he shared in God's plan of creation. My friends each of us is called to a such a relationship.
Using the unique gifts we receive from the Holy Spirit, and supported by the gift of Eucharist we’ll take on our role in
creation. As the days, months, and years unfold we will have many challenges. There’ll be good times, and sad times moments of sorrow, and moments of joy.
There will be times when we’ll be tempted to focus on our own agenda- to hang onto those things we think are important to us. Like Ignatius, we must detect the will of God. If we’re to be disciples of Christ, we must suffer with Christ. The Holy Spirit will raise us to the joy of resurrection where we will experience the never ending Love of God.
My friends, today, we remember this great mystery, that our God is a single being, made up of three persons- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each of them is truly God- Yet, there are NOT three Gods- there’s only one God. This, is the great mystery we proclaim when we sign ourselves with the Cross- and when we pray, that God the Father will bless us, may his Son nourish us and may the Holy Spirit enlighten us forever.
Over the next few Sundays deacons in our Diocese will renew our commitment to the Bishop and the people of our diocese. We don’t come across many deacons here, do we? So what is a deacon? Firstly deacons aren’t priests or acolytes or senior servers.
Deacons have existed from the very earliest days of the Church, and their service is mentioned several times in the New Testament. They serve the Church in the name of Jesus Christ as an ordained minister sharing in the Sacrament of Holy Orders with bishops and priests,
The Second Vatican Council called for the return of the diaconate as a permanent ministry in the Church. The word
deacon in Greek means servant and deacons serve the Church by caring for the People of God in liturgy; word and charity.
The ministry of the liturgy includes: assisting the priest at Mass and other liturgies, proclaiming the gospel and preaching the homily, baptising, assisting at marriages, exposing the Blessed Sacrament and giving the benediction, blessing people and objects, bringing Viaticum to the dying, and officiating at funerals and burials.
The ministry of the word includes: preaching, leading people at Liturgies of the Word, providing religious instruction, and being involved in the various teaching works of the Church. The ministry of charity includes: the various charitable works of the Church. This is the particular charism of the permanent deacon as he is ordained in service. I spent a number of years in Parramatta parishes before spending 8 years as a full time chaplain at the Psychiatric hospital, and the children’s hospitals in Westmead.
Some men serve as deacons for about a year before they are ordained priests. Other married men, called permanent deacons, serve as deacons for life. After ordination, the bishop will appoint the deacon to a parish or post where he thinks a deacon is needed.
A deacon’s formation lasts several years, through a process of discernment before starting theological studies. To enter the program men need to be between 35 and 60 years of age; should have a stable work history and a stable and happy marriage, with a wife and children who will support him.
In fact wives have to give written permission for the man to be ordained as a deacon., The man’s pastor presents him for training and supervises him during the years of formation. Wives play an important part in the discernment process and are encouraged in their own spiritual growth.
Future deacons must be committed to and live out the Gospel values, while showing leadership qualities in parish/diocesan ministry for some years. Such a man is identified by his parish community as a man of service, values and justice.
The Ministry of Permanent Deacons is one of the fastest growing Ministries in the Church today.- there are now 41,000 in the world, 97% in the US and Europe but only 2.6% in Asia, Aust and NZ.
We only have 6 active deacons in this Diocese, (I’m a bit of a ring in- being ordained for Parramatta) We have only one man in formation but, maybe with your prayers, the Holy Spirit can breathe life into us and renewed interest from men in our diocese.
Any man who is interested in this ministry can talk to me or any of the deacons, while the parish bulletin will have the name and phone number to contact in the diocese.
So, friends, on this special feast day of the Trinity let us pray,
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.