Quote of the Day
“Do not forget the great works of the Lord”.
With these words the Church addresses you today, dear Justin....
You are called to serve the mystery of the triumph of the Holy Cross.
You are called to serve the memory of the Church which is linked especially to this mystery. For in it is contained the very heart of the divine plan of salvation: “So must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (Jn 3:14-15).
At the very heart of the memory of the Church is this unheard-of divine Mystery. There is the Cross of Christ, and in that Cross is the raising up of man to the life of God, to the glory of the Crucified and Risen Lord.
Dear Brother Justin, you are called to serve and proclaim this inexpressible mystery: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him may not die but may have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).
The mystery of salvific love: the mystery of merciful love.
“God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (Jn 3:17).
The mystery of salvific love: the judgment and the sentence are laid upon the Son. He is lifted up on the Cross, he accepts infamy and death so that man may live: that he may have eternal life.
Dear brother Justin! You must bear witness before all people to this saving mystery which unites in the Cross the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit.
You must bear witness of the Cross of Christ, through which man has been raised up.
Behold, Jesus Christ “took the form of a slave... he humbled himself, obediently accepting even death, death on a Cross” (Phil 2:7-8)! To this you must bear witness, dear brother Justin.
Up until this moment you have borne witness as a priest of Jesus Christ. From now on you must do so even more – with the strength of the apostolic succession - as a Bishop.
You must bear witness – and you must serve. Following the model of the Son of God who “took the form of a slave”. You have always been ready for all kinds of service. We recall your ready availability, your great industriousness, your unceasing solicitude for the Church.
From now on, your service born from the charism of the ministerial priesthood is to be linked with the grace and the charism of the episcopacy. It is to assume a new dimension – still in relationship with Christ, the Son of God who “took the form of a slave”.
The world in which we live, the contemporary world, is full of forgetfulness of the great works of the Lord.
It forgets the truth about Creation.
It forgets the reality of the Redemption through the Cross of Christ.
It deliberately forgets. In a systematic way. Or else it forgets through giving in to the spirit of the age.
Dear Brother, you must enter into this complicated contemporary world and cry out: “Do not forget the great works of the Lord”!”
Homily at the Episcopal Ordination of
Archbishop Justin Rigali
Cathedral of St Pancratius
Albano, 14 September 1985
And lest we be remiss on this Silver Jubilee, the River City's traditional homage....
PHOTO: Fr Dan Good