Fifth Sunday of Easter
Jesus says, "In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?"
It is taken for granted, most people have heard or read this gospel passage and know that Jesus is the way the truth and the life. It is also taken for granted, some of us believe, it takes no effort on our part to get to that destination of the father's house.
Well, the fact of the matter is we do need to make an effort and we do need directions. Let's call them building blocks or milestones. We have the sacraments, we have the ten commandments, the beatitudes, the corporal acts of mercy and the spiritual acts of mercy, who's bottom line is LOVE.
So who is going to be the person or persons to instruct us on how to use these life giving directions?
St. Peter implies we let ourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood offering our time, talent and treasure according to our ability. At the same time realizing that what we do is not just for us or the parish, it is for the whole church.
So, if by chance you are not involved in any of your parish ministries, you might consider being a lector, usher, choir member, altar server, faith formation teacher, Saint Vincent de Paul member, Knights of Columbus, youth ministry, Catholic Women club, the Fifty plus club, the prayer group, bible study and on and on .
Which means, the best persons to direct and instruct, is you.
No matter who you are or where you are you do this by what you say and do. Those around you will know who you are just by you being you.
When we look at the first reading that doesn't quite define a deacon as a deacon is today.
I was once told there were two kinds of Deacons, the ordained has a big "D" and everyone else has a little "d". Meaning of course, we are all called to serve. Our youth ministry reflected just recently this attitude of being deacon and priest by going off to serve others with the slogan, "We wash feet". This is a wonderful example of going in the right direction. Their effort was an act of selfless love for people they didn't even know. Thank you for being you!
By the way do you know why the Deacon's stole crosses from shoulder to waist? The Apostles stole was worn over their shoulders and hung down in front because they served the spiritual needs of the church. The early Deacon traditionally worked with serving the needs of those who were hungry or sick, so they tied their stoles on the side and that way they wouldn't drag on the ground or get in the way.
I submit, if you are not involved an any of the many,church activities, don't be afraid to try something outside of you comfort zone. You may learn of a new direction and someone may learn a new direction from you that they too may get on track to one of the dwelling places in the father's house. This is the way we all continue to grow in His love, peace and joy.