Word To Life May 18

Jean Denton

North Texas Catholic

5/15/2014

May 18, Fifth Sunday of
Easter. Cycle A. Readings:
1) Acts 6:1-7
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
2) 1 Peter 2:4-9
Gospel) John 14:1-12

When I was assigned by my diocesan newspaper to cover the annual deacon’s convocation two years ago, I made sure that my pencil was sharpened and I had a spare ready for when it got worn down to the nub writing notes on the keynote presentation, because the speaker was a (zzzzz) theologian.

I anticipated a droning address. I did not expect a noted theologian — a person expert in doctrine and religious scholarship — to come out with inspiring, down-to-earth statements about the lived faith of ordinary people. But that’s what Michael Tkacik had for the deacons.

In the Church’s primary work of spreading the Gospel, he said, its “point of contact” with the world is the laity and, “the only way the Church will succeed in its mission is if laypeople live out  their faith.”

He added, “For you as deacons, this whole vision we’re talking about can’t succeed if you’re not there.”

That must have been gratifying to these men who were chosen and ordained for the specific role of service to God’s people. The Church today depends on their ministry and the committed faith and work of the laity as much as the early Church depended on Stephen and those first singled out to concentrate on doing the works of Christ.

This weekend’s Scripture in Acts tells how the early Christian community chose “reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom” to serve the people “at table” and make sure the widows and orphans weren’t neglected.

The result, the reading says, was that “the word of God continued to spread, and the number of disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly.”

Dr. Tkacik believed what happened then happens now. After all, Christians caring for people is where the rubber meets the road — the point of contact. Their faith in action is a tangible experience of Christ for others. No wonder it brings conversion.

Jesus seconds the motion in the Gospel when He states, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” When Philip asks to be shown the Father, Jesus tells him the Father is in Jesus’ way of life: “The Father who dwells in me is
doing his works.”

When we live the way of Christ, others discover God. 

QUESTIONS:
When have you witnessed a spiritual conversion resulting from someone’s compassion or act of charity? How have you been touched by another’s Christ-like actions?

May 18, Fifth Sunday of
Easter. Cycle A. Readings:
1) Acts 6:1-7
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
2) 1 Peter 2:4-9
Gospel) John 14:1-12

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