Celebrating a joyful deacon ordination in Manila
- Autore: Antoine Mushagalusa Biregeyi sx
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- Lingua: English
Celebrating a joyful deacon ordination in Manila Philippines 2017-2018
For us Xaverian missionaries, the religious consecration is compassed to the mission. Our mission is first of all to proclaim Christ present and experienced in each event of our life and the world around us. On this day, great is our joy that we want to share its impulse with all our confreres around the World. In one words, it is a “gratitude.” Our thanksgiving to God who calls and leads each life for his greater Glory; to our Congregation that has carried us as a mother carries her first-born from the day we first entered the walls of the Xaverian houses to this day of our Ordination, and in the future as well.
To our beloved Most Reverend Bishop Tobias, (Bishop of the Diocese of Novaliches) who ordained us today; Reverend Fr. Javier Mexicano Ferrer, Superior delegate of the Xaverian Missionaries in the Philippines, Reverend Fathers, deacons, religious brothers and Sisters, our Parents, relatives from Mexico, Cameroun and the RD Congo; our loving formators, and all those who have accompanied us in our journey. I express this gratitude to all of you on behalf of my two Brothers and companions Deacon Edgar Nava Perez and Deacon Ulrich Mokam Saa. As I look at
each one’s face now, I really feel that this is the day the Lord has made for us, therefore let us rejoice and be Glad!
Yes, it is a great joy that we come together today to fulfil what God expects from us: “To become one Single Family in Christ.” In a special way, we thank you for being part of this big family today and I hope you will continue to journey with us. Your proximity and faithfulness have made us feel the togetherness we dreamed of. At the same time, we want to thank Fr Aldo Dos Santos and Brother Martin Mbende, who stand by us still with their spiritual help (a minute of remembrance!).
Our joy today is the joy of love. Yes, “I love the Lord, He is filled with Compassion, He turns to me on the day I called.” This sentence from psalm 116 could describe concretely what Edgar, Ulrich and I are feeling today: If God has been so compassionate, generous and merciful to us, it is because He loves, desires and relies on us. Yes, today is a huge and deep revelation of His great love for us. This revelation has followed a continuous line that has a beginning but no one knows the end. Therefore, the question that remains at the back of our minds is; how do we faithfully answer to and make this love become a life giving reality in our today encounter?
Dear friends, the theme of our Ordination helps us to answer to this quest; “To follow the example of the master, Jesus.” The Gospel of St. John would say it better when he shows us the image of the teacher, master at the last supper. He stood up and started washing the feet of his disciples. This action of Jesus is an act of humility, service and a moral obligation to do the same (Cfr Jn 13:14-15). Being aware of this command, we feel really that our life is no longer ours; a reality that makes it difficult and demanding. I remember my years of basic formation: Propaedeutic, Philosophy and these 6 years of Theology. Many things have taken place; some of them were very touching and exciting like the welcoming party in the Philippines… As we were seating together, we were also full of laughter and presented a shining face. Some other events were quiet bitter like the day we first went to the Ateneo Language Learning Center (ALLC), the days we lost Bro, Martin and Fr Aldo. We really became disappointed. But, the interesting thing is that we were led by a mightier hand. Honestly, we were all animated with the Spirit! It is all about the Spirit of love, Spirit of encounter, and the Spirit of Patience. We all became patient in challenging the joyful moments that we cooled down and learned. I believe that some of you, present in this Church and afar from this country have been eyewitnesses of these two extremely opposite moments.
However, the Spirit of patience has brought us to this day and helped us to feel happy, important and counted on by God and each one of you. I am sure that this is the reason why we are here today: to celebrate the fruit of God’s Kingdom in our midst, as it was in the mind of Francis Xavier, our Saint patron. Of course, we want to follow the Example of the master, doing the same thing as himself especially in washing the feet of the poor, marginalized, oppressed, little and forgotten of our Church. We want to follow Christ in serving the others. Yes, though sometimes service becomes sacrifice, and burden; though dedication leads to the Cross; though the Cross has been understood as the end for some people; we want to follow Christ until He is formed in us.
To carry out this promise we just made is something tiring and difficult to fulfil. Therefore, we need your unceasing and continuous support that will bless our ways and allow God be manifested in us all. Relying on the same Mercy of God, the company of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our mother, we wholeheartedly thank you and wish you a very happy Feast.
St Francis Xavier, the Saint Patron of our Parish, Pray for us!!
Rev. Antoine Mushagalusa Biregeyi, SX