Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam - Ordination to the priesthood of Chathura Ranmuni Silva

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Home > Archbishop > Homilies > Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam - Ordination to the priesthood of Chathura Ranmuni Silva

Chathura, it would seem providential that your ordination to the priesthood should occur on the feast of St Ignatius of Loyola. You have a special affinity with the Jesuit order that he founded as you attribute involvement with them as a key influence in your vocation to the priesthood.

In choosing words from a prayer of St Ignatius on the cover page of your booklet you are reflecting the inspiration he is for your Christian life and now for your priestly life.

This prayer expresses the level of dedication to the service of Christ which lay in the heart of St Ignatius. Following his conversion after being wounded at Pamplona, he chose to devote his life to the service of Christ. Why serve an earthly king, he realised, when he can serve the King of Kings? He brought his soldierly spirit to his service of the cause of Christ. The men who joined him were to form the Society of Jesus, singularly devoted to serve the cause of Christ wherever the Church would send them.

Thus, Ignatius’ singular intent was to serve Christ as he deserves to be served. And Christ deserves all. So he will give without counting the cost, fight without heeding the wounds, toil without seeking rest. He will labour and not seek any reward apart from the knowledge that he is doing the will of God.

These are noble and inspiring aspirations which no doubt lie in your own heart this evening. For this I commend you.
In the heart of Ignatius was a burning zeal to do all for the glory of God: Ad majorem Dei gloriam. This could well sum up your vision for your life now as a priest – I give my all for the glory of God.

Chathura, these are indeed soul-stirring sentiments that you have taken to heart as you approach your new life as a priest.

In another and well-known prayer of St Ignatius we see his willingness to offer himself completely to Christ. When he says,

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

Only your love and your grace. This is enough for me. Remember and treasure these words.

Ignatius chose to give over his entire being to Christ. In doing so he attracted many men to join him. They, too, were filled with an extraordinary zeal. The Jesuit order claims over one thousand martyrs.

You have made not a small sacrifice in being ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Hobart. You have left your homeland, Sri Lanka. You are separated from your family – who tonight cannot be here with you as they would wish. You are embarking on a journey as a priest which is unknown to you.

Yet with trust and confidence you joyfully embrace this path to serve the people of Tasmania as a priest. You are willing to give your life to them in generous self-giving.

While tonight you are choosing the priesthood, you know, as the Lord reminds us in the Gospel tonight that it is He who has chosen you. Like the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord chose you for this even before you were born. The Lord said to Jeremiah, who keenly felt his youth and inexperience, “Before you came to birth I consecrated you.” Have confidence in the Lord’s confidence in you.

Tonight, as He says in the Gospel, he commissions you to go out and bear fruit, fruit that will last. In your faithful service of Christ you will produce much good fruit. It will be not what you do, but what Christ does in and through you that will enable such fruit to come forth.

As a young man considering my own calling to be a priest there was a prayer of St Ignatius that I said daily. It was a prayer that drew me into a closer union with Christ, even if I did not realise it at the time. I offer this prayer to you that it may sustain you on the journey ahead. This prayer invites us to embrace the saving grace flowing from the wounds of Christ. Drawing close to Christ crucified will draw you into His saving work. You will be the means by which the Lord’s saving work touches many lives.

He will sustain you to the end. And at the end He will welcome you into His Father’s Kingdom. I am sure you are familiar with this prayer that had meant much to me as I walked the path of my own vocation as a young man. It was my favourite prayer which I used to say at Mass after receiving Holy Communion:

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Permit me not to be separated from you.
From the wicked foe, defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me
and bid me come to you
That with your saints I may praise you
For ever and ever. Amen.

Archbishop Julian Porteous
Friday, July 31, 2020
Church of the Apostles, Launceston.

To view the livestream of the ordination Mass, click here.

To view the livestream of Fr Chathura Ranmuni Silva’s Thanksgiving Mass on Saturday, August 1, 2020, click here.