Bishop Smith ordained Rev. Michael Hinds to the diaconate in St Patrick’s Church, Trim on Saturday 25 August 2012. The Bishop was assisted in the ceremony by Fr Sean Henry PP, Fr Mark Mohan CC and many clergy. Also present were Rev. Hinds’ parents and family and the local parish community.
Reflecting on the Gospel in the context of the diaconate ordination, Bishop Smith said:
In the sixth chapter of St John’s Gospel which we have heard in the Sunday liturgies this month, the Evangelist shares with us the profound teaching of Christ on the Eucharist, which is central to the life of faith in the Church.
Having proclaimed His teaching, “many of His disciples left Him”. Christ then turns to the Twelve and asks: “What about you, do you want to go away too?”
Christ puts this same question to all of us. Following Christ requires us to say “Yes” to His teaching, for His teaching (as St Paul tells us elsewhere) is not some human teaching but “the power and wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24). A life that is authentically Christian is inseparable from faithfulness to Christ and His teaching.
In his willingness to follow Christ in a life of service and ministry, Michael Hinds is saying “Yes” first and foremost to Christ and His teaching. Today I wish to thank Michael for his generosity and his faithfulness. I pray tribute also to Michael’s parents and family who have nurtured his faith, enabling to say “Yes” to both the richness of Christ’s teaching and the challenges that stem from following in His ways.
By saying “Yes”, Michael is making his own the words of Simon Peter in today’s Gospel:
“Lord, who shall we go to?
You have the message of eternal life, and we believe;
we know that you are the Holy One of God.”
We note that Simon Peter is speaking on behalf of the Twelve, on behalf of the community that remains faithful to Christ. “We believe … we know that you are the Holy One of God”. Faith is the action of the community. It is expressed in the liturgy we celebrate today in the community and which is lived out together in the various elements of parish life.
I want therefore to thank this community for its witness to the faith. I encourage you to pray for Michael as he continues his path to priesthood. Pray too for vocations. As I have often said, vocations are born of the community of faith and from the people’s prayer. All you serve in ministry are strengthened in their service by the prayer of the people and supported by the active living out of faith that they see in their parishioners. When the priest and parishioners together say as Simon Peter declared – “Lord, to whom else shall we go?” – then the parish community is united in Christ and works together to build up His kingdom.