The Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said,
“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.
Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men,
filled with the Spirit and wisdom,
whom we shall appoint to this task,
whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer
and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:2-4)
This morning’s first reading is a direct reference to the order of the diaconate. Deacons are a very important part of the Church. They are entrusted, especially, to three tasks: the Ministry of Charity, the Ministry of the Word, and the Ministry of Liturgy.
The deacon is ordained to be a witness to the Gospel through a life of service. This takes place in his ministry to the poor, the aged, the sick, and those in jails or prison. The deacon also proclaims the Gospel by preaching at liturgical gatherings and teaching in religious education programs, sacramental preparation programs, and the like. Finally, the deacon administers baptism, witnesses marriages, officiates at wakes and funerals, presides at prayer services and other liturgical functions.
While we think about those who are involved in the diaconate, we would do well to remember that we are all called to serve Christ in His people. Some may be called as priests, others as deacons, still others as dedicated lay ministers.
All of us, in our walks of life are called to serve. However, all of us are also called to what the Apostles tried to make time for: to devote ourselves to prayer.
Our lives need to be a balance of work, service, and prayer. Only when we are spiritually balanced will our lives be fruitful.
Faith Action: How involved are you in the works of the Church. Make a point to find out how you may get more involved in your parish and/or your community helping others. Additionally, check your schedule and see how much time you allot to prayer. Is there any time at all spent in conversation with the Lord? If not, try to make some time for personal prayer today.