The Holy Father has issued his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium. I have yet to read it in its entirety, (I’m still working on it!) but from what I have read it is a clear challenge to us all. Here is the link to the text. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.pdf
I keep hoping to see something in it referring specifically to the diaconate and its evangelical mission. So far, I haven’t seen anything. Certainly, at the heart of the diaconate is preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One only needs to look at St. Stephen, deacon and martyr and St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr to see biblical examples of this. Inherent in the rite of ordination to the diaconate is the reception of the Book of the Gospels at which time the bishop reminds us we are heralds of the Gospel.
Certainly, too, our Holy Father is showing all of us deacons how to be deacons in his outreach to the poor and the marginalized. He lives out his diaconate. Just today I read in the Italian newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera, how Francis is expecting the archbishop at the Vatican in charge of the giving of alms to the poor to sell his desk and to be out among the poor and not expect the poor to come knocking at his door. The article also mentioned how when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, then Cardinal Bergoglio would slip out at night dressed as a simple priest and spend time, in cognito, with the poor in the streets.
Francis’ biggest homily on the diaconate is the manner in which he is living and instructing all of us to live.
MIght I be asking too much if I were to ask him to mention deacons in his writings?