Saturday of the Second Week of Easter
Acts of the Apostles 6:1-7, Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19, & John 6:16-21
In today's first reading from Acts, we learn of another failure in the early Church's life in Jerusalem. A very vulnerable section of its Christian community, the poor Greek widows, was being neglected. Converts from Judaism overlooked the widows in the daily distribution of food. That showed a severe lack of care and concern and undermined the unity of the Christian community. Not surprisingly, there were complaints.
This incident should warn us against being "starry-eyed" about the first Christians. More importantly, when the Church recognized its failure, it immediately took steps to remedy the fault. It used great imagination in finding a solution. Seven deacons were given the special task of caring for the widows. As a result, it released others to concentrate on preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus. By allotting different tasks to different people, the life of the Church developed. What had started as a failure became an opportunity for growth.
Friends, this has been the pattern throughout the history of the Catholic Church. Certainly, holiness is one of the essential marks of the Church and provides us with the means to sanctify and produce great saints as our mentors and intercessors.
Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, reformers have opened our eyes to our failures, which has led to the community developing solutions and new ministries. I believe that this is much more than filling in the gaps. Having to find solutions to new problems provides an opportunity for positive development within the Church.
I freely admit that I am quite proud of the gift God gave me when I was ordained as a deacon in the Catholic Church. Today's reading from Acts shows us that our very failures can become the springboard to future progress. That's encouraging and exciting.
Question of the Day: Will you pray for vocations for the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life so that the faithful may be served?
Prayer: "Christ is Risen, who made all things; He has shown mercy on all people." Amen.