|Deacon Ken Masuda, CMF|
In Japanese we use the expression, “to receive the grace of ordination,” which I thought before was no more than a common phrase used in the Church in Japan, but when I was ordained I felt strongly that the diaconate is truly a grace and a gift that God gave me “gratis”. I received many graces on that day but the greatest was the “grace of light.”
That day was really a “day of light.” Because of the rainy season, we had had many grayish days with lots of rain. Moreover, three typhoons were approaching Japan, so many parishioners of Midorigaoka prayed devoutly that it wouldn’t be a stormy day. Then, a miracle happened! That day was very sunny like a bright summer day that made us laugh as we thought that we might have prayed too much.
Although we celebrated my diaconate ordination under the brilliant sun, the participants’ joyful faces were even brighter. On the faces of the parishioners of Midorigaka who heartfully prepared for the ordination and of those who came from Osaka, Tokorozawa and other places I saw the light of joy which was so beautiful that made me very happy.
Prostrating myself during the Litany of the Saints, I felt the people’s prayer penetrate my heart like a light. I was sure that not only those present there were praying because I also felt the prayers of many other people praying in different places. That was a moment I realized the power of prayer. I understood that the ordination was not my personal celebration but a feast of the whole people of God, celebrating God’s mercy as Monsignor Matsuura told us in his homily.
I chose for the Gospel reading the passage of the washing of feet from the Gospel of John. Jesus tells us that those who wash the feet of their brothers and sisters are happy. I learned from this passage that to serve is my happiness rather than a mere duty. The merciful God who has led me is not in a far place but is present among his people and dwells in the brightness of everyone’s heart. I strongly felt my desire to be a servant who unites the hearts of many so that the light of everyone may become one to illumine this world.