As the number of disciples continued to grow,
the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews
because their widows
were being neglected in the daily distribution.
So 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 6:1-4)
I say, quite often, that there is “no way in God’s green earth” that I would be able to take care of all the parishioners’ needs if I did not have a large number of dedicated volunteers to work in all the various ministries of this parish. That is the absolute truth.
It is good to see that many people recognize the fact that they have been called to the “priesthood of all believers” and that they exercise good ministry in many capacities. Because of their selfless dedication, many people get visited in hospitals, nursing homes and at home. Many others get their needs met through the St. Vincent de Paul, youth activities such as sports, scouts, et cetera, and a variety of other activities that take place at the parish and at the school.
All those volunteers are quite essential. However, they are not enough and I still need more help.
Well, quite frankly, because none of those volunteers can do sacramental ministry.
That is where another group of “volunteers” comes into play: our deacons.
The reading today reminds us of the necessity of the deacons in the early Church (so that the apostles would have more time to dedicate to their specific ministry). The deacons of the Church today do much of the same.
They are empowered, by the virtue of their ordination, to proclaim the Gospel, to baptize, to officiate at marriages and funeral services, as well as to preside at wake services and a host of other para-liturgical services.
Without the help of our deacons — both at our own parish as well as in the Church at large — we would be feeling the strain as the apostles had so long ago.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those who serve us as deacons. Ask God to bless their ministries and to bless their families who support their vocation. If you know others who would be good deacons, encourage them to consider the prospect.