Tuesday, October 11, 2011

St Phillip the Deacon



Today is the feast of St Phillip the Deacon. As someone who was ordained first deacon then priest I have a special place in my heart for St Phillip ... but I wasn't too thrilled with his day falling today of all days, when I had a school assembly to plan concerning him - especially following a really hectic weekend with hardly a minute to spare!

So how does one talk about the idea of diaconal service to 200 children? Well, I read the story in Acts about the calling of Phillip and the rest of the Seven & inspiration came from that. I bought a loaf of french bread on the way to the school & began by having some of the teachers start handing some of it out to the junior infants up at the front - the poor, hungry mites! But then I stopped them and said that while this was an important job, the teachers already had an important job of teaching the children ... so maybe someone else should do this. I selected seven 6th class students - responsible children who had been in the school since junior infants - & had them hand out the bread instead. And as they did so, I read aloud the passage from Acts.

When the bread was all handed out, I spoke to the children about how important it was to divide the jobs up so that all the work was done and none of it was forgotten or neglected. I told them that we are all called to serve in our own ways & asked them to remember when they prayed to listen to what God was saying to them so they could find out what he wanted them to do ... to find out the way in which they were called to serve. It was, after all, what St Phillip and all the others of the early Church did, so I felt it was not bad advice for the children.

Probably it is not bad advice for everyone. God bless.

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