Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
May 21st, 2012

George Butterfield

School of Law
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Monday in the Seventh Week of Easter
[297] Acts 19:1-8
Psalm 68:2-3ab, 4-5acd, 6-7ab
John 16:29-33


Sing to God, chant praise to his name; whose name is the LORD.

The fifth of May, 2012, is a special day for me. On that day I was ordained a deacon by the Most Reverend George J. Lucas, Archbishop of Omaha. These daily reflections are to be upon the scriptures for the day, as is only proper. However, I asked permission to share some of my thoughts and feelings concerning the events surrounding my ordination.

First, before the Mass began, our class of twelve said Morning Prayer together with our wives. The reading for that morning was from Romans where it says that we do not live to ourselves or die to ourselves. We live and die with Christ as his servants. This is true of all disciples and ordination meant that now we would be public figures, called to lead the laity in the new evangelization as “living icons of Christ the Servant.” People would no doubt be looking at us but, if we have been properly formed, we, like any icon, would point to the reality behind ourselves, namely, Christ the Servant. We can ultimately only serve if we remain faithful to Jesus.

Sing to God, chant praise to his name; whose name is the LORD.

The ordination Mass itself was a challenge. It was hot in the Cathedral. By the time they had us laying face down on the marble floor, I just kept praying that the choir would include every possible saint in the Litany of the Saints. That marble was cold and felt great! Of the twelve who were ordained, my name begins with a B so I had to lead the group across to the archbishop on three separate occasions. Sometimes it was hard to tell exactly when I should start moving forward and I knew that everyone would follow me whether or not I was going at the right time. I had a real spiritual prayer for a week: “God, help me not to screw up!” The priest who served as the Master of Ceremonies assured me that he would give me a nod at the proper time. I felt better about it but let him know that if he bowed his head for prayer, I might take that as a signal to start moving.

I had been selected to serve as the Deacon at the Altar. My only concern about that was that I spent the first part of the Mass crying and wanted to have a certain level of composure standing next to the archbishop. There is a time to cry but I didn’t think he needed a blubbering deacon standing next to him during the eucharistic prayer. God was gracious and I seemed to navigate my role fairly well. However, on the next day I served for the first time at my parish church. I was much more relaxed. In fact, when it came time for father to lift the host and for me to lift the chalice, I don’t know whether it was because I was deep in prayer or brain dead, but I just stood there. Father looked at me, slapped the side of the altar a couple of times, and I woke up. The last thing our parish needs is a deacon who goes through the motions but does not have an intimate relationship with Jesus. Yet, who wants to attend a Mass that is served by the Zombie Deacon?

At every turn I was reminded that it is a gracious Lord that we serve.

Sing to God, chant praise to his name; whose name is the LORD.

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