Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Role of Service in the Life of a Deacon in Commemoration of the Diaconal Ordination of One of Our Blog Writers

So today one of our blog writers Brent (has no cool nickname) was ordained to the diaconate. His soul is now marked with Holy Orders forever changed. As I was listening to the readings (actually I had the privilege of reading one) and the prayers during the liturgy, I couldn't help but meditate on the role of service both in the diaconate and in the priesthood.

Stemming from Dr. Brant Pitre's class on the Pentateuch that I had last semester, I couldn't help but think about the Hebrew word abodah, which is usually translated into English as some form of the word serve. In the Pentateuch it is always in reference to sacrifice and serving at the altar. Today's first reading (which was read quite well I must say) was from Numbers which recounted the calling of the tribe of Levi to serve Aaron and his sons who were the high priests. They were there to assist those men who were consecrated and set apart by God to offer sacrifice. It requires a great deal of humility and reverence for the sacred to maintain and fulfill this duty. One with this role is always close to the altar but never makes the sacrifice. A weak man can easily be led to jealously or anger for not being able to offer sacrifice. For instance one can look at Korah and company in Numbers 16. Korah was a Levite who took offense at the priest who were set apart, or consecrated, to do the work of the Lord. Indeed, then to take up such a duty as to serve at the altar of Christ with he who is alter Christus requires great humility (even if one is on his way to becoming a priest). So first I ask all of you to pray for all deacons who serve at the altar of God that they may be men who are humble just as Christ humbled himself to wash the feet of his disciples in John 13. I also ask you to pray for Brent that he may humbly serve at the altar of God.

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