Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sacraments of Service

This was one of those weekends while in service as a Catholic Permanent Deacon when you just marvel at all God allows you to witness. First, I assisted a visiting Priest to my parish for a wedding. The young couple, Mark & Laura have begun their new life as husband & wife after their ceremony yesterday afternoon. I had the privilege to preside at the rehersal but assisting at the wedding was awesome. I wish them a lifetime of happiness and pray that they will invite a deep relationship with God into their married life.

In Catholic marriage, we know that the actual ministers of the Sacrament is the couple themselves. The Church further teaches that the exchange of consent between the spouses "makes the marriage". No consent = no marriage. And this consent is sealed by God. Authentic married love is caught up in divine love.

Also yesterday, our Archdiocese celebrated the ordination of 3 new Priests for service in New Orleans. Since I could not be at two places at one time, I opted to attend a Mass of Thanksgiving for Fr. Daniel Brouillette at my neighboring parish of St. Peter's in Covington. I remember Fr. Daniel as a student at St Jospeh's Seminary College where I attended daily Mass for years. He presided over a beautiful liturgy supported by many priests and seminarians. Holy Orders, like Matrimony, is a Sacrament of Service.

We all should pray for our new Priests as well as all Priests and a rededication to vocations. I have been thrilled to read of so many ordinations this year and realize that vocations must continue to keep our faith alive and vibrant. I was especially blessed today to have Fr. Daniel give me a blessing with consecrated hands.

All of these beautiful events come at the end of a full day of ministry and a full weekend. In addition to the events listed above, I preached at three Masses, witnessed two annointings of the sick, visited with a dear friend who lifts me up in prayer everyday and topped off celebrations around our 32nd wedding anniversary.

So as I prepare to end a beautiful Sunday I'm recalling the words from today's responsorial psalm: Blessed the people the Lord has chosen; chosen to be His own.

"Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever." Hebrews 13:8

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