Saturday April 29

Our first reading for today comes from the Acts of the Apostles (6:1-7) and recalls the call and ordination of the first Deacons of the church. These seven men were to assist the Apostles by ministering to the widows and the poor, thereby freeing the Apostles for more important works of ministry in the new Christian communities. After their selection the Apostles prayed over them and laid hands on them. All those who aspire to priesthood are first ordained to the diaconate and are known as transitional deacons. In modern times the original call to diaconate as a separate vocation was restored by the Second Vatican Council, and these ordained men are known as Permanent Deacons, and married men may be admitted to this grade of Holy Orders. They are ordained to serve the local Bishop for the ministry of Charity and the Word. As we remember the call of the first Deacons, let us pray for all those who serve us today in the Church.

Our Gospel reading (John 6:16-21) recalls the story of when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water. They were terrified, but Jesus calmed them saying “It is I. Do not be afraid.” This was a favorite verse of Pope St. John Paul II, especially to young people. As we face things in life which are disturbing and that we do not understand, may we remember the advice of Our Lord and “Do not be afraid!”

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