Installation of Lectors/Acolytes
Saint Mary Church, Mt. Olive, NC
September 8, 2012
How providential that the Institution of Lectors and Acolytes occurs on the day the Church celebrates the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For no doubt on this joyful day, dear soon-to be newly instituted lectors and acolytes, you echo the words of Our Blessed Mother: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,” as you reflect on God’s many blessings in your life, including the gift of your spouses, family and all who love and support you. You hear anew, even in the midst of your lowliness, the divine call to serve the Lord and His Church as a permanent deacon and, in imitation of Mary’s profound trust, you say with her, “Let it be done to me according to Your Word.”
As you listen to the Word of God today and the prayers of the Rite, you realize your privileged role to announce the truth of today’s Gospel: Jesus is Emmanuel: God with us. Soon to be lectors: you are reminded that in announcing this Good News, you must first, like Mary, sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him. Thus, the Prayer of Institution reminds you “to meditate constantly on the Word of God so that you may grow in its wisdom and faithfully proclaim it to God’s people.” You must be willing to speak and teach His truth even when others dismiss and reject it. Most importantly, you must remember that you will show others the abiding presence of Jesus through the very example of your life: as one who lives what he professes and does what he teaches.
Soon to be acolytes: Jesus is Emmanuel: God with us. His presence is perfectly revealed to us in the gift of the Holy Eucharist. Today you are reminded that: It will be your duty to assist priests and deacons in carrying out their ministry as special ministers of Holy Communion to the faithful at the liturgy and to all the sick. Thus, it is essential that you are men who reflect profound reverence for the Eucharist; who spend time in the Lord’s Eucharistic presence and who are molded more perfectly in its likeness and continue to understand the deep spiritual meaning of what you do. In a special way, dear candidates, be readily available to bring the Lord’s Eucharistic presence to the sick, the homebound, the patient and the inmate, assuring them that God is with them always, most especially in their time of need.
Dear candidates, as you carry out your daily responsibilities at home and in work with those associated with your new ministries, depend completely on God’s grace. Then, like Mary, you will understand “there is no need to be afraid.” Depend also on her constant protection and intercession. As we honor Mary on the Feast of her Nativity, heed these words of Saint Bernard: