I invited Scott Schueller, a long-time friend, to design a modern-icon to be used on the invitation to my Masses of Thanksgiving and the Liturgy Guide for my first Mass.  My description of its meaning is:

Ordination is a time of grace, as a man enters into the Paschal Mystery of Christ, both into His suffering and also into His promise of Eternal Life, in a new way.  He does so not for his own sake, but to lead others into deeper union with our Triune God, the God on whom the whole universe rests.  For the Christian, entry into the Paschal Mystery (the passion, death & resurrection of Jesus) begins in the blue waters of baptism, which was foreshadowed by Joshua leading the People of Israel into the Promised Land through the Jordan River.  In the blue under the pillar we also see the humble & patient love of the Blessed Mother.  In the paradox of Christianity, the cross is the ultimate sign of God’s self-giving love.  Through my reflections I have come to posit that Christ’s scourging at the pillar is a similar paradoxical sign of Christian hope.  We, in turn, through encouragement can catalyze hope, but not create it in others.  Encouragement is one of the most important duties of a father, whether it be a natural father or a spiritual one, and we are all responsible to “encourage each other daily  while it is still today” (Hebrews 3:13).  The crown of thorns on the pillar reminds the priest that as he is configured into Christ the head, he witnesses Christ’s kingship in suffering, with the hope of sharing in His eternal glory.  The images of suffering are enfolded within the loving arms of Jesus and the Blessed Mother to remind us that they are always there for us.  The dove reminds us of our eternal destiny with God.  His love and Mercy will ultimately triumph and our suffering will end.  When we share in the suffering of Christ, we do so in light of the Resurrection’s hope, not for the sake of suffering itself.