Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:8; Psalm 89(90):3-6,12-14,17; Luke 9:43-45
Today in Clifton, two are being ordained as permanent Deacons, Eric and Richard. Let us pray for them today (this prayer is from the Rite of Ordination and is said by the Bishop):
Almighty God, be present with us by your power. You are the source of all honor, you assign to each his rank, you give to each his ministry. You remain unchanged, but you watch over all creation and make it new through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord: he is your Word, you power, and your wisdom. You foresee all things in your eternal providence and make due provision for every age. You make the Church, Christ’s body, grow to its full stature as a new and greater temple. You enrich it with every kind of grace and perfect it with a diversity of members to serve the whole body in a wonderful pattern of unity.
You established a threefold ministry of worship and service for the glory of your name. As ministers of your tabernacle you chose the sons of Levi and gave your blessing as their everlasting inheritance. In the first days of your Church under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the apostles of your Son appointed seven men of good repute to assist them in the daily ministry, so that they themselves might be more free for prayer and preaching. By prayer and the laying on of hands the apostles entrusted to those chosen men the ministry of serving at tables.
Lord, look with favor on these servants of yours, whom we now dedicate to the office of deacon, to minister at your holy altar.
Lord, send forth upon them the Holy Spirit, that they may be strengthened by the gift of your sevenfold grace to carry out faithfully the work of the ministry. May they excel in every virtue: in love that is sincere, in concern for the sick and the poor, in unassuming authority, in self-discipline, and in holiness of life. May their conduct exemplify your commandments and lead your people to imitate his purity of life. May they remain strong and steadfast in Christ, giving to the world the witness of a pure conscience. May they in this life imitate your Son, who came, not to be served by to serve, and one day reign with him in heaven.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Ecclesiastes today reminds us that we all shall grow old, and that this brings its problems with health, agility and looks all fading from us! Enjoy them while you are still young - but remember that they are all vanity - meaningless as a puff of wind. We have, again, to trust in God, and let God do his work.
In about a years time, more are expecting to be ordained as Deacons, including your present author. For us this seems to be Gods' calling. I can think of no better way for me to be doing God's work. I certainly know that I used to feel that I had skills and abilities to do much: I now know those vanities were nothing compared with the work God has done in my life and will do through this gift of ministry that opens up.
If God is calling you - listen. Respond, while you have the gifts of physical strength to do so. The formation program is a continual path of discernment - several I know have started and not finished, others started and took time out, and have returned. Enquiring now is not a commitment that can not be backed out of. Feel free to discuss with myself - John Andrews.
Today is also the feast day of Our Lady of Walsingham.
|Our Lady of Walsingham|