I was really moved by the ordination yesterday of 22 men from our Archdiocese into the permanent diaconate. Diaconal ministry is very important for the life of the Church and I was thrilled to learn about a month ago, that one of these 22 men was being assigned to St. Brendan parish to assist with ministry.
Our new deacon’s name is José Blakely. He and his wife, Lucy have been active members in our parish for a number of years. During the 4 year program of formation for deacons, the wives accompany their husbands in the classes and preparation. This provides a great opportunity for the wives to learn more about their own faith but also to understand how their husband’s ministry will impact their marriage and family. Lucy was the only wife to complete all of the homework and papers over the 4 years of formation. The rest dropped out and many thought why should they do all this work when they weren’t being ordained. Lucy’s dedication and perseverance will help her in her work and ministry as a catechist for Confirmation and in the other ministries she serves in. Congratulations for sticking to your promise!
It sure felt great for me to work with José over the past few years and to watch him grow and prepare for diaconal ministry. I will look forward to working with him in the years ahead.
On another note, I already sent out the Daily Thought for today, but as I was reading In Conversation with God, I found a couple of paragraphs I really enjoyed and I wanted to share them in this post.
God passes alongside the lives of men giving his light and joy. In today’s First Reading the Lord rejoices at the salvation of the remnant of Israel on their return from exile to the Promised Land: See, I will bring them back from the land of the North and gather them from the far ends of earth. .. the blind and the lame. .. a great company returning here. After so much suffering, the Prophet announces the blessings of the Lord upon his People. They had left in tears, I will comfort them as I lead them back; I will guide them to streams of water, by a smooth path where they will not stumble.
Jesus fulfils all of these prophecies. He went about the world doing good, even for those who did not ask his help. Christ is the revelation of the fullness of divine mercy to the most needy. No form of misery could separate men from Christ. He gave sight to the blind. He cured leprosy. He healed the lame and paralytics. He fed hungry multitudes. He expelled demons … He approached people who had the greatest suffering in soul or body. We are the ones who have to go to Jesus. Our eyes have been blind. .. We have lain paralysed on our mats, incapable of reaching the grandeur of God. This is why our most lovable Saviour and Healer of souls has descended from on high.
We must have complete faith in the one who saves us, in this divine Doctor who was sent with the express purpose of curing us, and the more serious or hopeless our illness is the stronger our faith has to be. There will be times in our lives when we experience more hardship than usual. We will have moments of greater temptation. We will grow weary of the struggle. We will have periods of interior darkness and trial. These are moments when we must tum to Jesus, who is always by our side. We must have a humble and sincere faith like the sick and the suffering people of the Gospels. Then we will cry out to the Master: ‘Lord, put not your trust in me. But I, I put my trust in you’. Then, as we sense in our hearts the love, the compassion, the tenderness of Christ’s gaze upon us, for he never abandons us, we shall come to understand the full meaning of those words of St Paul: ‘virtus in infirmitate petficitur’ (2 Cor 12:9). If we have faith in Our Lord, in spite of our failings – or, rather, with our failings – we shall be faithful to our Father, God; his divine power will shine forth in us, sustaining us in our weakness. What a great comfort it is for us to know that Christ is near us!
I will post the homily either tonight or tomorrow morning. I am kind of running out of steam after a busy weekend so it will most likely be tomorrow.
Have a blessed week!