In today’s Gospel Jesus is met with misgivings and even rejection by his own relatives and friends. This account reminds me every time I hear it or read it of an incident in my own ministry.
Shortly after I was ordained (now 32 years ago last month) I was asked by my niece to officiate at her wedding. We went through all of the pre-marriage prep and all of the planning for the big event in her local church. After being welcomed (albeit a little skeptically) by the pastor, we lined up the music, readers, and the rehearsal, the wedding took place. It went very well actually except for my leaving my microphone on after the last song. No, I didn’t say anything too embarrassing and that is beside the point. The point is the fact that some of the attendees weren’t altogether sure what to make of this recycled auto parts guy celebrating the Sacrament of Matrimony. A close family member actually even asked me if I was sure that the couple was “really married”!
That hurt. Still does when I think of it.
The deal here is that deacons at that time were not regarded as ordained ministers by many of the faithful and not fully appreciated by many of the priests. Some actually resented them.
Thankfully some of that has changed. And so now I have vented a little and feel a little better but that “thorn in my side” still beats me now and then “to keep me from getting proud”.
Summer is a great time to pray for vocations. For sure we need more priests, brothers, and sisters, but the role of the deacon is also important to the mission of the Catholic Church. Please pray for the existing ones, those in formation, and those who will come forward in the future. We appreciate it!
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC