During the time that I have been ill, I have had time to think about the mission of a deacon and my mission. Leander S. Harding wrote a book called ” To Persevere in Love: meditations on the ministerial priesthood” in his book he talks about the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Bishops. He points out that the bishop is a successors of the apostles. The bishop delegate some aspect of their ministry to deacons and priest. Deacons are given a special responsibility for the poor, the sick, and the lonely and assist the bishop and priests in the preaching of the word of God and the administration of the sacraments.
I got to thinking again about my mission. I feel a call to preach and serve the church. I also have a strong call to serve the whole church. I understand that my ordination means that I am to be an icon of Jesus Christ who came to serve and not be served. I would hope that my calling may be so that many may be called. Whenever I read the gospel in the Eucharist my hope is I remember that the symbolism of my reading is that of Jesus in the synagogue at Nazareth opening the scroll of Isaiah and saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has called me to preach the good news to the poor.”
Soon we will be washing feet in holy week and again I hope I remember that I am an icon of Christ as he washed the feet of the disciples on the night that he was betrayed. I would hope that in this season of lent that I will keep the image of Christ the servant. I so want to be in the midst of his people and hopefully stirring them up to servanthood. Always remembering Christ death and resurrection and never forgetting Jesus Christ concern for the poor,feeding and healing. His cross that makes no sense to the world. Even in this enlighten and highly sophisticated intellectual world. The words of Paul are still true, “the cross of Jesus Christ is foolishness to Greeks and a stumbling block to Jews but to us who are being saved it is the power of God and the wisdom of God”(1 Cor 1:18)
If I understand my ordination as carrying the charism of the order as a witness to the charitable deeds of Christ but also of his saving death and mighty resurrection. I ask the question, “Do I really feel that I have died and that my life is hidden with God in Christ?” if the answer to this question is yes then my task is laid out before me. I am to fed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick and preach the good new to them. If the poor are not reconciled to the Father in one body through the cross, if not then I leave them hungry and naked still in their sin. I want to show that what I preach is what I live. That I have died with Chris and been born anew from above, and hopefully evident as much by who I am as what I say.
Pray for me my brothers and sisters.