By Tony C. Diaz
Umatuna Si Yu’os
Nine men continued their faithful journey toward becoming permanent deacons for our Archdiocese of Agana and were installed as lectors by Archbishop Michael Byrnes during 9:30 a.m. Mass Sunday, April 2, 2017 at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica.
The nine men instituted in the ministry of lector were: Gregorio Calvo, Rene dela Cruz, John Fernandez, Jose Gumataotao, Romeo Hernandez, Huan Hosei, Rudolfo Que, George Quitugua, and John Terlaje.
Following the Gospel reading at the April 2 Mass, the men were asked to stand up and be noted before Archbishop Byrnes proceeded with his homily.
Speaking to the congregation and the deacon candidates about the gift of the Holy Spirit, the archbishop expounded on St. Paul’s message in the Second Reading of Romans 8:8-11: “Those who are in the flesh, cannot please God.”
“This is what God is saying, that human beings are made to live not simply by the flesh … not simply by our own power,” Archbishop Byrnes said. “We’re made for something more.”
“We are made to start living the life of Heaven here and now. We are made to live the life of Christ here and now,” the archbishop says. By our baptism, we are called to live in the spirit of Christ.
“If you live in the flesh then you live primarily by your passions,” Archbishop Byrnes said. “Whether it’s anxiety, or fear, or greed, or lust, or vanity, or pride. One of those things is going to drive your life. Maybe a combination.”
“But if you live in the spirit, then you live by a different principle,” the archbishop emphasized. “You live by the principle of faith, of hope and of love.”
Living out the virtues of Christ, for example, we have the capacity to forgive others and to love other people “not just for my sake but for God’s sake,” Archbishop Byrnes said.
“We have those virtues … we have that power through our baptism. It’s available to us,” he said. “The question is, will we plug into that? Will we plug into that power of the Holy Spirit?”
Archbishop Byrnes called our decision to place God at the center of our lives “a new possibility, a new sense of power for our lives.” “(It’s) a perspective that puts our lives at God’s service and not at the service of our passions,” he said.
After the homily, the archbishop asked everyone to stand and join him in prayer as he proceeded to install the nine men as lectors.
“Let us ask God our Father to bless these, his servants who have been chosen for the ministry of lector,” the archbishop said. “Let us pray that they may be faithful to the work entrusted to them. Proclaim Christ to the world, and so give glory to Our Father in Heaven. Let us pray.”
“Lord God, source of all goodness and life, you sent your only Son the Word of life to reveal to mankind the mystery of your love. Bless these, our brothers who have been chosen for the ministry of lector. Grant that as they mediate constantly on your Word, that may grow in its wisdom and faithfully proclaim it to your people. We ask this through Christ our Lord.”
Each men knelt before the archbishop individually as he said these word, “(Name of person,) take this Book of Holy Scripture and be faithful in handing on the Word of God so that it may grow strong in the hearts of his people.”