April 14, 2018
The Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Acts_6:1-7
And so, it was very early on, into the beginnings of the Church organization that the Apostles realized that they just couldn’t handle it all any more. Why, there was preaching, and feeding, and healing, and gee, all those things that Jesus did without any help. (Sorry, I’m just being sarcastic, beloved.) And yet, having created this new helper (the deacon), it seems they didn’t really want to let go of any of the things they were doing anyway. So ever since the very inception of the Church there have been power struggles as to who does what and where and to whom. Even the offering of our sacraments, that have been delegated to the select few, are held on to so tightly, that the deacons, who have been allowed to help, are often never asked to do so. And if the priests refuse to allow anyone to help, of course they’ll be overworked, or veer into secular loves that have nothing to do with God or the betterment of humankind, or begin to do their own priestly functions poorly.
It’s all kind of funny, because among those first deacons was Stephen, who was the first to preach the Word of God so vehemently, that he was stoned to death trying to convince non-believers of God’s love for everyone through Jesus. And this was right after Deacon Stephen was assigned to wait on tables so that the Apostles could do the preaching. Hmmmm?
Now that’s not saying that we don’t love our priests, we very much do! And we very much appreciate all they do for all of us. But if they (individually) allow themselves to become the new Pharisees, then we’re no better off than the very situation that Jesus was trying to correct. And, please, this is not a generalization of ALL of our Church or all of our priests, but it just seems pretty prevalent from this author’s viewpoint. Never stop loving your priests, beloved. But remember, there are many others who make your Church what it is. And that might even be YOU! And maybe it’s just about time someone said,
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