as being deacons,
yet in a very real sense they are.
seems to be that he is a trainee priest.
learns his priestcraft,
and is then ordained priest.
to what a deacon really is.
is very different from
how the Church sees the role.
diakonos which translates as “servant”.
comes in the book of Esther
describing ministers of the King.
when you act as a servant to assist someone else.
a command is issued and
at once the servant scurries away to perform it.
washing His disciples’ feet.
and how a slave is not greater than the master.
that we find the beginnings of the deacon
as an ordained minister.
and this puts an awful lot of pressure
on the Twelve Apostles
who are trying very hard to teach
and provide for the needs of their new flock.
who have spent their lives with Jesus,
listening to Him speak,
watching Him perform miracles,
have to divert from sharing
this wonderful teaching to deal with important,
but less specialised tasks?
to perform the administration,
to throw themselves into motion
at the direction of the Apostles.
Stephen and Phillip among them,
to act in this capacity.
they are not just appointed
like picking a football team at school,
but they are carefully selected
and then the Apostles lay their hands upon them.
the Holy Spirit is at work making an important change.
were men “of honest report,
full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom.”
and wisdom as well as men of action.
as the ministries of bishop, priest and deacon develop,
St Paul writes to St Timothy,
“Likewise must the deacons be grave,
not double tongued,
not given to much wine,
not greedy of filthy lucre;
Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
then let them use the office of a deacon,
being found blameless…
ruling their children
and their own houses well.
purchase to themselves a good degree,
and great boldness in the faith
which is in Christ Jesus.”
and was called to die for his faith.
baptise and explain the Gospels.
– these are things that deacons have been doing to this day.
Baptism really needs to be performed
within the Church community
and it is proper that only the priest
as Father of that community baptises.
who are described by the word diakonos.
a servant or assistant.
we have to look at how the Bible was interpreted.
we see that bishops seldom went far
they created the priesthood
and gave the priests deacons to assist them.
a deacon is “in all things unspotted,
as the bishop himself is to be, only more active.”
with bishops and priests.
and to put into practice what he hears
from the priest and the bishop.
it is the deacon who tells you when
to arise from prayer or that the Mass is ended
while the priest deals with more spiritual devotions.
but only those whom God has called.
“let all reverence the deacons
as an appointment of Jesus Christ.”
– indeed Jesus tells us that we must serve
– not everyone is called to serve in the way
that a deacon serves.
and possibly a bishop after that,
but the priest and the bishop never stop being deacons
and no ordained minister stops being a layman!
but never deacons because the deacon acts
as an icon of Christ the servant.
came about in the first place?
that the Apostles needed help.
and we should be glad when someone is ordained
to the diaconate.
we should pray for these men that they receive energy
in order to put the word of God into practice,
understanding that they might read
and preach the Gospel clearly and with reverence,
wisdom that they may know
how to administer their time in service,
and joy that they might find fulfilment in what is,
after all, a hard task.
but they are good work.
but how are you being called to serve God?