Summer was a very new experience for most people. Even those who did get away for a holiday couldn’t or didn’t travel far – and even then, found that their freedom to eat out and enjoy the company of new people was restricted. However, it would be wrong to paint a picture of gloom. The recent months have been marked by an upsurge in volunteering and community activities. It is as if a latent desire to serve others has been unleashed by our new way of living.
Christians should not find this strange because one of the fundamental ways to be Church is to serve. We often concentrate on other aspects of Church life such as liturgy or proclamation of the Good News, but our Saviour said explicitly that he came to serve and not to be served. He also gave us that almost forgotten commandment to wash one another’s feet!
You can imagine the joy throughout our diocese in July when four men were ordained to the Permanent Diaconate. By their Ordination they received the spirit of service; a grace to enable them carry out their ministry in the name of the Church. In other words, to be Christ to others. In a way that is something we can all do because we are baptised into Christ.
As it seems that some kind of lockdown will be with us for quite a while, let us continue to reach out. The wonderful effect of this grace is that helping others is better than being helped oneself.