On Saturday 5 December, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli ordained Fr Jude Johnson, Fr James Baptist, Fr Jude Thaddeus Ezeme and Fr Simeon Anthony to the priesthood. Despite COVID-19 restrictions limiting the number of guests able to be present, the ordinands were surrounded by their closest family and friends as they committed themselves to a life of service and prayer.
In his homily, Archbishop Comensoli spoke of the love that God models and that the ordained ministry demands.
'God is love; and God speaks in each of these mediated languages. God is Parent; God is Spouse; God is Friend.
So, as Jesus spoke the greatest of the commandments: "love one another as I have loved you", he mediated that love in the various ways that would enable it to be heard by every person, and each person: whether sacrificially; or spousally; or befrendingly. There is no language greater than this; it is life-giving to the very end.
The ordained priesthood is a mediated reality. Priests are – as our teaching reveals – mediators between God and humanity. This mediation is after the image of Jesus Christ, who was not somehow ‘separate from’ or ‘above’ people, but forever intimately bound to all human beings. In Jesus, God is now made of our human stuff; and his language of love is in the same peculiar form of all human love: mediated, so as to be understood by each.
Brothers, who soon will be permanently configured in this way of love that Jesus took to himself, your mediation does not separate you or set you apart, but binds you and sends you into the lives of those you are to serve. The language by which you are to listen and speak is the language of father, and of bridegroom, and of friend. ... it will not be heard, nor understood, unless it is spoken into the reality of the lives you will encounter. It is they who are to give you the voice you need. There is no one way in which this is to be done, for it is not your language by which you are to listen and speak, but the language of God enfleshed in this place, at this time, among these people.
Today, I commission you to go out and to bear this fruit of mediated love, the only fruit that will last.'
Images by Casamento Photography
Melbourne Catholic02 March 2021
Jesuit Communications Australia01 March 2021