"Look around among your own number, brothers, for seven men acknowledged to be deeply spiritual and prudent, and we shall appoint them to this task. This will permit us to concentrate on prayer and the ministry of the word." —Acts 6:3-4
When priests are truly priests, we need more deacons. When deacons are truly deacons, it helps priests be truly priests. When lay people are truly lay people, they call forth more priests and deacons. "If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members share its joy" (1 Cor 12:26).
Because we are all one body, we grow stronger or weaker together. Some think a decimated priesthood is a good opportunity for deacons, religious, and lay people to be more active in the Church. Rather, a weakened priesthood means less opportunities for others to minister. A weak priesthood is an effect of a weak laity, and will cause a weak diaconate and even weaker laity.
This vicious cycle can be reversed only by each of us — no matter what part of Christ's body we are — repenting and surrendering totally to Jesus. Renewal of Christ's body begins with us. If we deny our very selves, take up our daily cross (Lk 9:23), and become what the Lord has called us to be, we will build up the body of Christ. In this way, the word of God will continue to spread and the number of disciples enormously increase (Acts 6:7).
Prayer: Father, this Easter season, put me in my place in Christ's body and do Your thing in my life.
Promise: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God and faith in Me." —Jn 14:1
Praise: Praise You, risen Jesus. Your eternal priesthood gives life to us all. Glory to You, victorious Lamb of God!
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, The Challenge of Making Disciples in a Culture of Death, or on audio AV 97-1 and AV 97-3 or on video V-97.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, XXX 11, 2011
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