Archbishop Pizzaballa: “The Diaconate is a service to the heart of Christ, which is the Church”

By: Paolo Alfieri - Published: December 11 Tue, 2018

Archbishop Pizzaballa: “The Diaconate is a service to the heart of Christ, which is the Church” Available in the following languages:

December 7, 2018 – In the Church of the Domus Galilaeae, in Korazim, Israel, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa ordained Javier Martínez Alcalá, a Spanish seminarian of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

At the Vigil of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, in the Church of the Twelve Apostles of the Domus Galilaeae in Korazim, the Spanish seminarian, Javier Martínez Alcalá, of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Galilee, was ordained deacon for the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Present at the event were the team responsible for the Neo-catechumenal Way in the Holy Land and the Gulf Region, the leaders of the communities of Galilee and Jaffa in Tel Aviv, the communities of Tarshiha and Kafar Yasif, where the new deacon completes his formation journey to the faith.

The Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, presided at the celebration, accompanied by Father Rafiq Nahra, Patriarchal Vicar of the Vicariate of St. James and the Diocesan Chancellor, Father Ibrahim Shomali. Also present were the vice-chancellor of the Beit Jala seminary with some professors and many other presbyters of the Latin Patriarchate, of the Greek-Catholic Diocese of Akko and Nazareth and the Greek-Orthodox parish priest of Kafar Yasif. Also, some consecrated religious of the monastery of the Beatitudes and of Shefa’amr participated in the event, the latter also accompanying some parishioners of the Latin parish of St. Joseph, where Javier carries out his diaconal service.

The event was also enriched by the occurrence of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, of particular importance for the Neo-catechumenal Way, since that very day its initiator, the Spanish painter Kiko Arguello, received fifty years ago the inspiration to begin a journey of Christian initiation to be accomplished in community “which, like the Holy Family of Nazareth, live in humility, simplicity and praise, and where the other person is Christ.”

The readings of the liturgy of the Marian solemnity, entirely in keeping with the event, were the object of the homily of Archbishop Pierbattista, focused on the theme of election and discipleship. In the beginning, he proposed a reflection on the importance of the Word of God, in the dialogue between the faithful and the Lord, which is the basis of Christian life, focused on the initiative of God. This initiative finds its peak in the announcement of the Angel to Mary, “who does not close the dialogue with God, but remains open to grace.” Mary’s dialogue with the angel is, in fact, an image of God’s dialogue with man, who never stops despite sin, since God loves man deeply and never leaves him alone. He then His Excellency noted that “all biblical history, but also our entire history, revolves around the question of God to man: “Where are you?”, that is the heart of the encounter with God, of which Scripture offers a marvelous synthesis in the story of the fall of Adam and Eve.

Then the Apostolic Administrator continued with a reflection addressed to the newly ordained: “On the day of your diaconal ordination, the liturgy tells you that you are here by the grace of God, through your intervention, because you have also been asked the question: “‘Where are you?’ Through the Word of God, through a Church made up of real people,” he added, “surely, today in your heart you will have fears and tremors about your future, but this Word invites you to trust because whoever has brought you here will not abandon you.”

At the end of his homily, the Archbishop then spoke to Javier: “May you be a servant of the Church, may your whole life be a trusting service to the Word of God, which touched you and that you can witness who you are and to whom you belong.” At the end of the celebration, Archbishop Pizzaballa greeted the rector of the seminary, Father Francesco Voltaggio, together with his collaborators, thanking them for their training work, and he thanked Father Rino Rossi, director of the Domus Galilaeae, for his evangelization activity and his openness to welcome.