Saturday, April 05, 2008


Today's first reading, from Acts, might surprise people a bit. In it, the apostles look for assistants (those whom we now call "deacons") to take care of the practical matters of the community. They appoint deacons especially to see to running the apostolic food bank, saying "It is not right for us to neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables.... We will dedicate ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word."
What was most important for the Church was that the apostles continue to witness to the Lord's resurrection. The care of the poor could not be neglected, but neither was it reserved especially to the apostles.
Some might find fault with the apostles' reasoning. Clearly, though, the apostles are not denigrating the social dimension of Church life: they were running it! But when it began to take over the foundational matters of prayer and preaching, priorities had to be established.

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