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Coadjutor Bishop
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Bishop Jaime Soto Coat of ArmsRemarks at Vespers Service

cathedral of the blessed sacrament

Most Reverend Jaime Soto,
Newly Appointed Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento
Sunday, November 18, 2007

 

I am encouraged.  If this is what Paul intended by his words to us this afternoon, I am encouraged by the God of all encouragement.  In an older English translation as well as the Spanish, the word is consolation, Dios es quien nos consuela.  At this moment I can also taste that consolation from the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

El consuelo de Dios a que San Pablo nos refiere no es algo sentimental.  El consuelo de Dios nos salva.  Nos rescata.  Nos libera.  Ahora, San Pablo nos reta con el propósito que podamos consolar a otros con la misma consolación de Dios.  Vengo convencido de estas palabras de San Pablo.  Mi llegada al umbral de esta Catedral dedicada al Santísimo Sacramento, ha sido posible gracias al consuelo, el apoyo, y el animo que Dios me ha comunicado a través de su pueblo.  El consuelo de Dios manifestado por el pueblo de Dios me ha salvado, me ha rescatado, y me ha liberado para servir a ustedes con este mismo consuelo divino.

 

I will admit to the nervous clumsiness that comes with such first encounters.   The awkward rituals of meeting, greeting, introducing.  I am sure we will all do fine, you bringing the best manners of the Valley and me, trying my best not to embarrass my mother.  (I hear her voice chiding me, “Do you want people to think you don’t have a mother.”)  I am very grateful Bishop Weigand and his coworkers as well as the clergy of Sacramento all who have warmly welcomed me to Sacramento.  I sincerely appreciate Bishops Tod Brown and Dominic Luong as well as the clergy and people of Orange who made the trip north to turn me over to the proper authorities.

 

What saves us, what encourages and consoles both you and I at this happy juncture, are the rituals of prayer and praise, the holy habits that over time have honed our rough edges and made the clumsy moments graceful.  Through the years the sacred psalms and scriptures have hollowed and hallowed our hearts with their familiar rhythms and rhymes bringing the echoed voices of our treasured, ancient traditions while preparing us to taste the kingdom still to come.

 

By these rituals God has encouraged us and consoled us through the years.  So heartened by this tender divine prodding our continued recitation prolongs his abiding consolation for those drawn and entranced by the beauty of all God’s people praising and praying in one voice.

 

This will always be what is most attractive and persuasive about our faith, how we give praise and pray to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement.  Whether it be the holy rites of our sacred temples, the rituals of our homes or the routines of our day we encourage and console one another with the same grace we have received from Jesus Christ.  We bring God’s graceful way to a graceless, awkward and often heartless world.

 

Vengo aquí agradecido por todo que nuestro Señor Jesús me ha brindado.  Vengo aquí convencido que el buen pastor seguirá acompañándonos, a ustedes y este servidor, por el camino que Su providencia divina nos ha preparado.  Hemos iniciado esta jornada de fe, con las alabanzas y oraciones de nuestra antigua tradición católica.  Los ritos y gestos de estos primeros pasos ahora nos indican la calidad y ritmo de nuestro caminar.  La reverencia y devoción no son disposiciones limitadas por estas sagradas paredes.  Son las actitudes con que debemos convivir, compartir, y construir nuestro futuro.  La tradición católica ha mantenido siempre un equilibro entre la reverencia y devoción que merece el santísimo sacramento del altar y la misma reverencia y devoción que merece los miembros del cuerpo de Cristo, la Iglesia. Mi plegaria a llegar aquí con ustedes es que así sea y que yo sea para ustedes un servidor reverente y devoto.

 

The reverence and devotion with which we now meet each other and greet each other can be — should be — the character and quality of our days together.  This is my prayer — while we worship together, work together, study and pray the scriptures together, discern and deliberate together God’s call, work hand in hand to bring God’s saving charity to others, strive together for a just world where peace prospers — may we always reverence one another as brothers and sisters, savoring the joy and encouragement of our communion in Christ.

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