A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
June 30, 2020
NOTES FROM DEACON PAREJA
June 16, 2018
I’m always amazed at how the smallest of things can have such a big influence on something else. As we read in our Gospel today, the smallest mustard seed grows into the largest of plants (c.f. Mk 4:31-32). A tiny mustard seed can grow into a plant that can reach 9-feet tall! Think about all of the small, seemingly insignificant, things that can lead to a huge impact in the future. As I listened to Fr. Tim’s homily last weekend, I realized that last Sunday was the 12th anniversary of my ordination as a deacon. Wow! I can’t believe that it’s been that long ago! It was June 10, 2006 that Bishop Kinney laid his hands upon me and ordained me to this ministry of service. I tried to recall how that journey started. As I think back about how my discernment began, I recall having breakfast with my pastor from the parish we belonged to in Wisconsin back in 1995. I mentioned to him that I was wanting to do more in the church. As I described how I wanted to serve, he replied with the smallest of responses by simply saying,
“Oh, you’re talking about being a deacon.” At the time, I had no idea what a deacon was or what a deacon did, but that small interaction put into motion a big change in my life! Fast forward to 2018 and I’ve now been ordained for 12 years. I have been assigned to serve St. Francis Xavier for all those years and the time that we have been together has certainly been a blessing for me.
You (the parish) have embraced me and have allowed me to answer God’s call to service within this community. I am thankful that I have been called to serve God’s people. All of it started with a small comment made by my pastor. Sometimes we never know when a small comment or small gesture can impact someone else in a huge way. There are many examples of how we can improve others’ lives in small ways. Maybe it’s by simply holding the door. Perhaps it’s by offering a genuine smile. Possibly it’s by sharing words of thanks and encouragement. If we are willing to perform small acts for others, then they may be willing to do the same. Quickly we can see how this can have great momentum in multiplying small acts into a great number of positive actions. Whenever you have the opportunity to offer a small, positive act towards others, don’t hesitate by thinking that that small act doesn’t matter. Or that the recipient won’t appreciate it. Or that what you’d do isn’t really a big deal. Because you may never know when you’re actually planting a small mustard seed which will result in a 9-foot plant! Your small act could make a huge difference in someone else’s life. Thank you for all of the acts of support and encouragement that you’ve given me as a deacon along the way. It has been a blessing for me and my family to be part of St. Francis Xavier and I look forward to many more years of service to this community. Blessings,