Deacon Lincoln’s Log 6-1-14 Ascension Year A

Ascension window

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses… to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”  Mt. 28:19-20

Preparing for this weekend’s liturgy, I was reminded of our mission statement here at St. Rose and St. Mary’s.  Do you know what it is?  Its on the cover of the bulletin every week…  Its on the homepage of our website…

OK… I’ll tell you.  Our mission statement reads, We are an inviting faith-filled Catholic community made up of two unique parishes devoted to a life-long learning and discipleship through prayer, service and sharing.  Its a little long, so on my business cards it is shortened to, Making lifelong disciples.  That is why we exist as a faith community.  Our task, given by the Lord, is to make disciples by witnessing to his love (Acts 1:8), baptizing (Mt. 28: 19), and teaching (Mt. 28:20).

Everything we do as a community, in some way, involves forming disciples or disciples living out their discipleship.  Our budget flows from this mission.  Our calendar reflects this mission.  Our support of the school reflects this mission.  Our religious education programs flow from this mission.  Even our annual parish mission is a reflection of this mission.

As we celebrate the feast of the Ascension, let’s deepen our commitment to the mission the Lord has given us.

May the Lord continue to bless us abundantly as we strive to fulfill the mission he has given us.

Peace,
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood

Deacon Lincoln’s Log 5-25-14 Easter 6 Year A

'Flags-In' at Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day 2008

“For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God.  Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit.” 1 Pt. 3:18

This weekend our nation celebrates Memorial Day reflecting on sacrifice, freedom, and peace.  Here is a prayer for Memorial Day from the Center of Concern (https://www.coc.org/).

On this Memorial Day
Grant peace to the souls
of all those soldiers who died in war.

We remember the tears and grief of their families,
The pain of mothers, wives, husbands and children
Who lost precious loved ones.
 
To build a meaningful memorial to them,
We ask God to give us all the will
To work for peace around the world

So no more sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers, nor mothers
Are slaughtered by the guns and bombs of war.
 
We ask Mary, who held the lifeless body of her son
And was pierced by the sorrow of his suffering and death,
To grant us the compassion and wisdom to affirm life

And honor the dead through forgiveness and peace making.
 
May God have mercy on the souls of the departed.
Grant them peace, O Lord.
 
May we have mercy on the living.
Grant us peace, O Lord.
 
In Your name we pray.

Amen.

As we deepen our commitment to work for peace may we remember that peace is a gift of God given through the sacrifice of His Son who was put to death in the flesh but brought to life in the Spirit.

 Peace,


Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood

Deacon Lincoln’s Log 5-18-14 Easter 5 Year A

Public Domain Fra Angelico St. Stephen and St. Peter

Fra Angelico St. Stephen and St. Peter

“Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom… .” (Acts 6:3)

“Acts 6:1-6 is seen as the institution of the Order of Deacons; the passage uses the Greek diakonein to designate the “serving” function of deacons.” (Catholic Dictionary, Peter M. J.Stravinskas)

 The reading from the Acts of the Apostles for this weekend (Acts 6:1-7) shows us a growing diversity within the early church community.  This growth in diversity was a gift of the Spirit, but it was a gift that brought challenges with it.

How did the early church respond to these new challenges?

Deacons!

That’s right.  This selection of the Seven was a turning point for the church as it dealt with a new situation.  It is also seen as one of the scriptural foundations for the modern diaconate.  These first seven deacons were commissioned to work alongside the Twelve in their ministry and specifically to minister in this new context of growth and diversity.

Since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965)

the Latin Church [that’s us, the Catholics in the West] has restored the diaconate “as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy,” while the Churches of the East had always maintained it. This permanent diaconate, which can be conferred on married men, constitutes an important enrichment for the Church’s mission (CCC 1571 emphasis added).

One of the primary purposes of the Second Vatican Council was to empower the church to respond to the contemporary world.  The reestablishment of the permanent diaconate shares this purpose.  Today deacons, including me, serve the mission of the church in a variety of ways, but all of us strive to enrich the Church’s mission in the modern world.

 

Peace,
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood

Deacon Lincoln’s Log 5-11-14

Pasture gate...

Pasture gate… by Richard Reeve (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

“Let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”  Acts 2:36

Jesus said, “I am the gate.  Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.”  Jn. 10:9

We continue our journey through the Easter season and ponder the meaning of the new life that we received through the gift of Jesus’ resurrection.  Jesus is the gate to eternal life.  Through him, we will “come in and go out and find pasture.”

We come in through the gift of faith.  The gift of faith makes us children of God.  We have been claimed by the God of Jesus Christ.  Jesus calls us to be his disciples and we come to him week after week and day after day in prayer and the celebration of the sacraments.  We follow Jesus in faith every day.

We go out by the love born of the Holy Spirit.  This weekend, our candidates for confirmation receive the gift of the Spirit in a new way.  They are empowered and sent forth to witness to Jesus.  They have been given the gifts of the Spirit, not for their own sake, but for the sake of the world.  They have new wisdom and knowledge, their hearts are filled with mercy and compassion.  And so our ours.  We go out by the power of the Spirit.  We go out in love.

We find pasture in the hope of eternal life.  As disciples following Jesus we know our destination is eternal life.  Jesus resurrection reveals where he is leading us.  He has been established as Lord and Christ.  As Lord he has defeated the power of death.  Our pasture is not of this world.  We are destined for eternity where faith, hope, and love find their fulfillment.  As disciples, we live the way of faith, hope, and love.

Peace,

 Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood

Deacon Lincoln’s Log 5-4-14

“And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.  With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight.” (Lk. 24:30-31)

As the mystery of Easter continues to unfold around us this Easter season, we have the great joy of celebrating the First Holy Communion for some of our children.  Today Victoria Havlik, Danielle Huss, Jordan Jaskolski, Joshua Meating, Jonathan Scherschel, Natalie Sunita, Nicholas Van Beek, Sterling Van Straten, Charles Wentworth, and Micah Wood are joining us at the table of the Lord for the first time.  This is a special day as they eat the body and drink the blood of the Lord for the very first time.

Today’s Gospel reminds us of how deeply rooted we are in the eucharist.  Jesus reveals himself to us in the simple action of taking bread, blessing it, breaking it, and giving it to us.  With the eyes of faith we recognize him in our celebration of eucharist every week.

These children will grow in their faith as they join us at the table of the Lord Sunday after Sunday.  Jesus will reveal himself to them in our midst.

Like these children, we are called to come to recognize Jesus more deeply every week.  Through participating in the eucharist weekly our hearts start to burn within us, our prayer life deepens, our understanding of the Scriptures grows, and we begin to recognize Jesus active in our lives.  Thank God for the gift of the eucharist that we are able to share with these children today and every Sunday.

Peace,

Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood