As preachers of the word who have deep ties to both the faith and the secular world, deacons have a tremendous potential for affecting positive change toward the Gospel. We live the example daily by our words, not only from the pulpit but also in our relationships outside of the church. We are Christ’s arms and legs, eyes and ears, for responding to the human condition, no matter what it is.
Priests can be responsive to the real world and the daily issues that affect the faithful. But in today’s world, where technology is advancing at an increasingly accelerated rate, deacons’ secular existence and family life put us in touch with the issues more directly — they affect how we and our families live.
In that respect, some faithful may feel more compelled to come to us over concerns. They expect to hear the truth from the pulpit, but deacons have the advantage of real experience in personally dealing with the issues. That wealth of experience that God has sent our way has made us who we are.
This concept is a valuable one to the church. It is through our real world experience that we all have experienced God in our lives, and in turn we teach others and influence others to experience God in their own lives. The only end that matters is everlasting life with God. All other moments in life are not ends but points of growth and development — new beginnings upon which to build the relationship to be finalized in our eternity.
How we live our lives does matter, and all lives do matter. This is God’s intent in creating us. He gives us the opportunities but leaves the choices up to us.
We can see the glass of our lives as half-full or half-empty. Every opportunity can be a point of resignation or point of development. The attitude that deacons model has to be real and has to be positive if we are to give others hope and acceptance of our leadership as proclaimers of the Gospel. Gospel means “good news” and good news instills good attitudes.
This is not “feel good” theology; that is unrealistic. But a positive approach to life and its issues inspires others to work at life with passion and dedication, not passive complacency. We must remember that Jesus did heal the crippled man, but the crippled man had to make the effort to take up his bed and walk on his own with Christ.
We as deacons have the constructive experience of having accepted God enough to have the confidence to get up and walk with God of our own free will. This is what the people want to hear from us as our testimony comes from the truth, as God is truth, as God is with us.
In this perspective, therefore, bioethics becomes a powerful tool of preaching God’s love. God has created a huge universe but chose to make the special gift of life available in limited supply. We, then, are the anomaly in creation. Astronomers have found many other stars with orbiting planets, but so far, no other life has been discovered anywhere else.