The Glory of a Consecrated Life

05-21-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Bing Colasito

The Gospel reminds me of my consecration to God; on 2nd July (1999) at my ordination to the diaconate. On that Solemn High Mass at the Cathedral of my diocese in the Philippines, I laid face down flat on the floor before the altar as the parish choir sang the Litany of the Saints chant. There, I lay prostrated in humble submission to the Most Holy Trinity, fully aware of my unworthiness. That was the last time I was a layperson before being accepted to the ranks of the clergy in the Order of the Diaconate, later, to the Order of the Presbyterate.

I remembered my body shaking as I felt the magnitude of the event unfolding that very moment I was aware of the finality of what I was doing. After eight years of formation, I was now at the point of no turning back. In the presence of my bishop, the clergy of my home diocese, my parents and family, my friends, and the people of God: I made a promise to live “in the world” but not “of the world.” I was also aware that my consecration to God is a continuing process of choosing between what Jesus taught and what the world teaches. I publicly professed my belief in God the Father, Son, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Diocesan priests make two vows: 1.) My vow of Chastity is a promise that I will remain unmarried and renounce sexual pleasures. 2.) My vow of Obedience to the Bishop Ordinary is the imitation of Jesus, who came to do the will of the Father and not His own will. Though we do not have the vow of poverty, I promised not to be attached to worldly things. To live with a sense of relying on God’s providence. God has given, God has taken away. Reflecting on my vows, I remembered thinking how overwhelming the task lay ahead. Thus, as I lay prostrated, especially at my Priestly ordination, I begged God to have mercy on me; and give me the grace to fulfill my vows.

“Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you…” Jesus consecrates Himself to the Father when the “hour” of His passion, and death has arrived. Jesus asks the Father to glorify Him, but is this not a paradox, especially in the Holy Mass? Dying you destroyed death, rising you restored life, Lord Jesus come in glory. By your death and resurrection, you have set us free. You are the savior of the world. But in the end, Jesus was not the only one glorified by His consecration: His Father, the disciples, the women of Galilee, His parents (Joseph and Mary), and the church.

Reflecting on my ordination to a consecrated life, I stumbled on the many marvelous realities St. Francis discovered. It is in giving that I receive, in forgiving that I am pardoned, and in dying that I receive eternal life. And eternal life is this: That I know the one true God, and the one He sent, Jesus Christ our Savior.