This past Saturday, we attended the ordination to the transitional deaconate of four high-caliber young men from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Between the joy that simply exploded from within them and the awesomeness of the sacrament itself, I was vacillating back and forth from tears to laughter to tears over and over again.

One could consider the celebration and choose to contemplate any one of a multitude of beautiful symbols present in the liturgy. But, the one that most touched me – and that keeps my heart strings vibrating – was the moment in which the candidates received he Gospels from the Archbishop. One by one, they knelt before him, and together with their shepherd placed their hands on the book of Sacred Scripture as he told them, “Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and live what you teach.”

That moment itself has given me fodder for prayer and meditation all this while, and will continue to do so for some time to come. Powerful words, words that define the deaconate and priesthood but also words that direct all of the Christian faithful. Words for all of us to heed.

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