For today’s Gospel reading, we’re back in John 6. The disciples are out on a boat when they see Jesus walking toward them on the water. It was dark and naturally the disciples had never seen anything like this before, so they were afraid. But Jesus calms their fears, saying, “It is I. Do not be afraid.”
In the first reading from Acts 6, we read about the ordination of the first deacons. The Twelve (the first priests) said to the community, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.” This meant to say Mass and confect the Eucharist. So the community recommends to them seven men, whom they then ordain as deacons. We know this because they were not ordained to “serve at table,” but to serve the community. St. Paul gives requirements for deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
Deacons are wonderful servants for God’s people. I have a number of friends who are deacons. They offer themselves up to the service of the Church. I’m sure that at times it can be a thankless “job.” But that’s the thing – it is not a job. It is a vocation. It is a call from God. Men study for years to become deacons. I hope that if you know a deacon or have a deacon at your church, you’ll let them know how much you appreciate them. Thank you, deacons!
Father, may more and more men hear your call to the diaconate. May we always be grateful for those who serve your Church. Amen.