“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
Last night I entered the transitional diaconate, was elevated to deacon, and accepted my deacon stole. I am a transitional deacon because I will be continuing toward ordination in the priesthood¹ rather than remaining a deacon permanently.
The word deacon derives from the Greek diákonos meaning “servant.” When I look at some of the most famous deacons in history its clear I have big shoes to fill. St. Francis of Assisi was a deacon, as was the first Christian martyr, St. Stephen.
But although I don’t feel worthy of this responsibility my heart is still full of joy and gladness because, it seems to me, this feeling of unworthiness only means that I am appropriately humble before Christ through whom all things are possible.
My sincerest thanks and blessings to Brother Leo for standing with me in the ceremony, to Bishop Katia, Bishop Timothy and Father Erik for the trust, education and direction, and to all of the other students in the seminary — without your participation and energy there would be no seminary for us all to benefit from and enjoy. And thanks also to my wife and family for your support and for the sacrifices you’ve made so that I can do this work.
But most of all, thanks to God.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
¹ My seminary is in the Old Catholic line in which priests are permitted to be married.