Well, I just prayed Vespers for Pentecost. That means I have entered Ordinary Time, as have all of you who similarly have prayed the Office. For those of you who love the Easter season and do not want it to end, you can extend it a few hours, if you would like, you know like until about 7:30 pm your time. You really shouldn’t pray Vespers later though so as to drain the last few drops of Easter joy from the season!
I don’t know, but I rather like Ordinary Time. The Old Testament readings in the Office and at Mass, the “greenness” such a sign of life, and the breadth of the Gospel readings for Mass that challenge me as a preacher. Yeah, Ordinary Time is okay.
Moving on….. I was privileged to attend yesterday the wedding of the daughter of a good deacon friend of mine in Rochester, Minnesota. I kid you not, there were four priests on the altar, a deacon, a couple of other priests in the congregation, and four other deacons in attendance. Plenty of clergy. The couple was richly blessed in that way. The liturgy was excellent, the homily engaging, the conversation afterward rejuvenating. It is always so good to be with brother deacons, especially in liturgy and in celebration. I was able to meet and laugh with a deacon from the Diocese of Green Bay who boldly proclaimed the Gospel at the Mass and equally boldly kept us mutually in laughter at the reception. Good stuff all around. I always find it so remarkable that we deacons have common struggles and joys regardless of our dioceses or our assignments. Proved true yesterday.
I was wondering at 9:30 am Mass today, as I was being deacon in the sanctuary moving about in my activity, “How does one enliven a parish.? What brings newness of life to a community?” I don’t have a facile answer, although I keep going back to the idea of improved preaching. The beginning seems to me to always lay in the preaching of the Word to hopefully open ears, followed only then by the Eucharist. This is how the liturgy itself is structured, is it not? So I ask myself, “How much of ministry do we structure in the same way? What do we first give the people? Is it the Word? Or is it bread?”
Moving on again, I am anxiously awaiting the printing of the Josephinum Diaconal Review (JDR) for a couple of reasons: 1) my article entitled, The Diaconal Call to a Spiritual Martyrdom, will be finally published, and 2) I can begin to use the JDR for continuing education purposes for our diaconal community in the diocese. It will be filled with quality articles on the diaconate from noted persons throughout the world. If you haven’t subscribed, do so soon. Log on to the Pontifical College Josephinum and click on the JDR tab.
More thoughts will quickly follow. Until then, God bless!