Archbishop Bernardin's installation Mass homily

My colleague, Michael Sean Winters, offers a critique of Archbishop William Lori's installation Mass homily, concludes that it was "bizarre" and ends his analysis: "The first reading yesterday was from Acts, recounting Paul's visit to Athens, and Lori used that as a metaphor for his own role, but instead of preaching Christi crucified and risen as Paul did, Lori preached Neo-con Constitutional Theory 101."

In 1972, the new archbishop of Cincinnati, Joseph Bernardin, centered his installation Mass homily on the Eucharist as the moral imperative for the life of the church and her members individually.

Here's how then-Archbishop Bernardin began his homily:

It is fitting that the first official act of a new installed bishop be the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. A bishop, to whom is given the fullness of the ministerial priesthood, is charged with the responsibility to teach, sanctify and govern, in the name of Christ, that portion of the Lord's Church entrusted to his care. In the celebration of the Eucharist the local church experiences in a unique way the presence, and the community of Jesus. The Eucharistic Sacrifice, together with all the sacraments, makes the love of God visible and caused the love and unity of God's people to grow.

In celebrating the Eucharist with and for his priests and people, then, the bishop is at the very heart of his ministry, which is to build up, transform and restore all men in Christ. By partaking of his body and blood, the Christian community perpetually effects, renews and strengthens its bond with Christ and makes itself subject anew to its heavenly Lord.

The Eucharist, properly understood and celebrated, provides the moral imperatives for the life of the Church as a whole and for each of her members individually. In this morning's gospel, Our Lord spoke of only one commandment: "Love one another as I have loved you." The Eucharist, as a sacrament of God's love, provides both the model and the means for giving flesh and bones to the commandment of love in our daily lives."

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