October 27 – Birthday of Fernando Ocariz, Prelate of Opus Dei: “The Father”



   We celebrate it in Opus Dei – not because we know Fernando Ocariz personally but because he is successor to Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer who was chosen by God to engender sons and daughters by loving them and forming them in the spirit of becoming Christ in ordinary secular life of family and work. Fernando Ocariz has to grow in dying to himself to love us – we pray and sacrifice for him to be able to do this. Blessed Alvaro del Portillo said that it was a two way ticket – pray for  him to engender us in Love in that spirit.

               The crisis of the sexual scandal in priests is the result of the clericalization of the clergy. Having formed a self-involving elite, some have not gone to the peripheries to serve the mission of evangelization of the laity. This is the charism of Opus Dei. Therefore, prayer for Fernando Ocaris is prayer for the Church to be herself – unity of laymen and priests equally becoming Christ by service to each other in ordinary daily living. For the Church to be herself, she must be one , and that oneness is achieved only each believer bcoming Christ. St. Paul says: “The promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. He does not say, ‘And to his offsprings,’ as of many; but as of one, ‘And to thy offspring,’ who is Christ.” (Gal. 3, 16). And again in Galatians: “For all who have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor freeman; there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are the offspring of Abraham, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3, 28). The charism of the Founder of Opus Dei was to “engender Sons and Daughters.” This was and is done by loving them giving them identity as Sons and Daughters of God. This – working in tandem with the Love of God for them that is the creating engendering – enables everyone in Opus Dei to get out of self to be Christ for everyone close by in work or family. Heat and light and generated from within secular life and work burning everyone near.

               Therefore, ”what is decisive (in the Prelate) is neither his ‘jurisdiction’ nor their obedience. Rather, what truly defines Opus Dei’s prelate is his ‘fatherhood,’ his role as a pastor who is a father to all the prelature’s faithful. That is why in Opus Dei he is usually called ‘Father.’ The prelate’s role in the life of Opus Dei deeply configures the prelature.

   Therefore, in this clerical-moral crisis in the Church, pray for the Prelate of Opus Dei so that the Church may truly become herself – ONE – as the Body of the Divine Person Jesus Christ, i.e. Ipse Christus.

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