If last week was considered good shepherd Sunday – a Sunday on which priests are traditionally recognized as the shepherds of their parishes – than this week should be considered servant Sunday – or a Sunday on which we recognize the service that DEACONS give to our parish and Church. . .
Because in that first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we hear of the young Christian community in Jerusalem choosing the first seven deacons to serve the needs of the community.
So I want all of you, to join me – in recognizing and thanking the service our two deacons – Mike Lewis and Jim Koger do for our community of St. Patrick – and the outreach of ministry they do beyond our parish boundaries.
Those first deacons were chosen because they were reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom. We won’t dispute the point that our two deacons are also!
So, two men were walking through the woods when they came across a very large, deep hole.
They wanted to see how deep it really was – so they tossed in some small rocks and waited to hear the sound of them hitting the bottom. But they heard no sound.
So then they decided to throw in some bigger rocks. And, again, they heard no sound.
Looking around they noticed a rather large log at the edge of the woods. They went over and dragged the log to the hole and threw it in. Not a sound came from the hole.
But suddenly, a goat appeared, running like the wind. It rushed toward the two men, went right past them, running just as fast as it could. Suddenly, the goat leaps into the air and into the hole.
The two men just looked at each other, totally astonished – trying to figure out what they had just seen . . .
Soon after their unsettling experience, out of the woods came a farmer who spotted the two men and ran over to them. He asked them if they had seen a goat.
“You bet we did,” answered the two in unison. “and it was the craziest thing we ever saw. It came running out of the woods and just jumped into that big deep hole over here.”
“Well, that would not have been my goat,” the farmer said. “My goat was chained to a big log.”
So unfortunately for the goat – the only reason it ended up in the big hole – was that it was tied to the log that the two men chose to throw into the hole.
The question for us today and throughout our lives is --- what are we tied to and where is it pulling us??
Oh we all have something we are tied to. . . for some it is work, for others possessions, and others it is wealth or a lifestyle.
For some it is an addiction: drugs, alcohol, gambling, eating or shopping.
For others they are tied to an emotion, like anger or revenge. . . or tied to something in their past they just can’t turn loose of.
For far too many of us it is being locked into one’s own life – with little or no concern for others – like those whose needs were being neglected in Jerusalem.
Jesus reminded the disciples in today’s Gospel – and so reminds us – that the only thing we should be TIED to, with any kind of unbendable or unbreakable commitment --- is Him.
Jesus says, “You have faith in God: HAVE FAITH ALSO IN ME!
And if we are tied to Jesus, if we have faith in him – then we need not be afraid because we will abound with God’s love.
If we are one with Christ, our hearts will not be troubled because Christ will touch our hearts and lead us in our journey of life. To be one with Christ, to remain in Christ, to have faith in Christ – is not to be dragged down – for in Christ we can only be raise up!
In life it is so easy to be tied to THINGS that can ultimately only destroy us. Christ asks us throughout this Easter season to not let that happen to us. Rather let us be tied to Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life. Christ in whom our hearts find rest and our lives discover the new life that God offers to us each and every day.
Or, as St. Peter tells us in his letter today:
“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God’s own --- so that you can announce the praises of Christ: who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
And to that we say: Alleluia!
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