“This great drama of salvation”

A week ago Wednesday, Archbishop José Gomez was welcomed into the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as coadjutor archbishop. Formerly the archbishop of San Antonio, Archbishop Gomez will serve alongside Cardinal Roger Mahony until February 2011, when he will become the Archbishop of Los Angeles. (Whispers has some good commentary on Archbishop Gomez’s appointment.)

Below are just a few paragraphs from the Archbishop’s “emotional” closing remarks from the Mass of Welcome. You can read them in full here.

Our mission is the mission of Christ—to proclaim the Good News that this world has a Savior; that the love of God is stronger than sin and death. …

Now, allow me to say a few words to my brother priests. You are at the frontlines of this great drama of salvation. You are men of God and men of brave heart, and the bishops’ first collaborators in the apostolic work of the Church.

In your ministries you are the presence of Christ, bringing God to people and people to God. You show them the compassion of the Father who seeks to carry them home—no matter how far away they might have strayed from the paths he intended for their lives.

Brothers, my priesthood is the joy of my life and I’m humbled to be able to minister alongside you. I’m eager to get to know each of you and the people you serve.

I still cannot believe I am here, my friends! This is awesome! This is not a future I could have ever imagined for myself. But this God we serve is a God of surprises—un Dios de sorpresas—as well as a God of blessings and tender mercies! …

Recently, a good friend told me about one of the local unknown saints here, Maria Luisa de la Peña, a refugee from Mexico who founded the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles.

Venerable Mother Luisita would tell everyone: “For greater things you were born!”

That’s it, my friends! That’s the good news we are called to proclaim to our city, to our country, throughout this continent and world. [For great things we were born!]

Each of us has been made for love and for great and beautiful things. There is no soul that God does not long to touch with this message of his love! And he wants to touch those souls through us.

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