In the last few months (of fall 2002), three Ohio priests were selected to be bishops and ordained in large public celebrations. At each ordination, archbishops, bishops, and/or cardinals laid hands on these candidates in the prayer of ordination. One of the newly ordained bishops cried tears of joy as hands were imposed on him. Afterward, he spoke of the awe he felt at realizing that the hands laid on his head traced an unbroken chain of succession all the way back to Jesus' first calling of His apostles.
The Lord renews the face of the Church (Ps 104:30) through the apostles and their successors, the bishops. The Church is built upon "the foundation of the apostles" (Eph 2:20; Rv 21:14). Jesus works closely through the apostles and their successors, the bishops — so much so that He assures us that if we listen to them, we listen to Him (Lk 10:16). However, if we discard or ignore the teaching of the magisterium of the Church, we disregard and reject Jesus Himself and God the Father (Lk 10:16).
Do you know the teaching of the Church? Have you ever studied the Catechism of the Catholic Church? How often do you read and study the Bible? Take advantage of the grace of this apostolic feast day. Listen to the ones who carry on the teaching ministry of Jesus (Lk 10:16). Decide today to daily read the book of the Church, that is, the Bible. Decide today to study the Catechism. Be built into the apostolic Church and "become a dwelling place for God in the Spirit" (Eph 2:22).