.- As he ordained new apostolic nuncios for Ireland, and Georgia and Armenia on the Jan. 6 feast of Epiphany, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the âwise menâ who sought Christ, as models for bishops today.
âIt mattered little what this or that person, what even influential and clever people thought and said about them,â the Pope said of the Magi who journeyed from the East in search of the Messiah. He noted that their role in the Gospels gave âindications concerning the task of bishopsâ in the Church.
The end of the Christmas liturgical season was the beginning of episcopal ministry for two new archbishops who will represent the Pope in foreign countries: Archbishop Charles J. Brown, apostolic nuncio for Ireland; and Archbishop Marek Solczynski, nuncio to Georgia and Armenia.
During his homily at St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Benedict said the âwise menâ of the Gospels should inspire bishops to place God's truth above âhuman opinion.â
Their search for the infant Christ, he said, âwas a question of truth itself â¦ Hence they took upon themselves the sacrifices and the effort of a long and uncertain journey,â leading them to âthe promised kingâ of all creation.
Like them, âthe bishop too must be a man of restless heart, not satisfied with the ordinary things of this world, but inwardly driven by his heartâs unrest to draw ever closer to God, to seek his face, to recognize him more and more, to be able to love him more and more.â
The Pope stressed that âonly someone who actually knows God can lead others to God,â and noted further that âonly someone who leads people to God leads them along the path of life.â
Thus, he said, the bishop could also be compared to the Star of Bethlehem itself, which led the wise men to Christ.
âAs you are ordained bishops, you too are called to be stars of God for men, leading them along the path towards the true light, towards Christ,â he told the two candidates he would go on to ordain at the Mass.
âSo let us pray to all the saints at this hour, asking them that you may always live up to this mission you have received, to show Godâs light to mankind.â
Archbishop Brown spoke to CNA after being consecrated as an archbishop, calling it a âtremendous joy, and a tremendous experience of God's grace.â
âI'm certainly aware of my own unworthiness to be a bishop,â Ireland's new apostolic nuncio said. âBut I go forward with confidence in Our Lady and in the saints, and with a great sense of peace and joy, knowing that all things are possible with God.â
âSo it's a beautiful experience for me, and with God's grace hopefully I'll be able to do something good on my mission.â
The 52-year-old archbishop's family members traveled to Rome to celebrate his ordination and pray for him.
âMy father went to God about two months ago, so he wasn't there physically, but I felt his presence spiritually,â Archbishop Brown said. âAll my brothers and sisters and my mother were there, and it was a great consolation for me and I think probably for them as well.â
The New York native, chosen as the Pope's Irish representative last November, became an archbishop on the same day that New York's Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan was announced as a future cardinal. The New York-born Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien will also join the College of Cardinals on Feb. 18.
âIt's a great day for New York â a triple-header!â said Archbishop Brown.