In today’s first reading from Acts 6, we read about the ordination of our first deacons. More on that in a moment. In the Gospel reading from John 6, Jesus is strolling on the Sea of Galilee. Yes, walking on the water. The disciples, having never seen this done before, are frightened. But Jesus reassures them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.”
The early Church was growing at a very rapid pace. The Apostles knew that they could not take care of the many needs of this burgeoning organization. They knew they needed help. So seven men were selected to be of service to them, as they continued to devote themselves “to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” These seven men were ordained as the first deacons.
I’m a big fan of deacons. I have many deacon friends, and men who are in formation for the diaconate as well. The order of deacon is today just what it was in the early Church – a ministry of service. Deacons are there to assist the bishop and priests so that they can carry out their ministries with fewer distractions. If you know a deacon or have a deacon at your parish, thank them for their faithfulness and service next time you see them.
Father, we thank you for calling men to the diaconate. Bless our deacons and keep them ever faithful and close to your heart. Amen.