Yesterday my nephew was ordained to the diaconate in Christchurch. Unfortunately I couldn't be present because of the restrictions due to Covid in Auckland. I watched the ordination via Zoom.
Once a deacon always a deacon although God-willing my nephew will go onto priesthood next year. As a deacon he has committed himself to a life of service and charity within the Church as a celebate man. His relationships will be open and inclusive of the people he is called to serve. In sharing his life with them they in turn will share their lives with him. All of us whatever our state in life are called to be in relationship with others. Throughout our lives we will have significant relationships that we are exceedingly grateful for. Some of those significant relationships sustain and enrich us now.
During the ordination ceremony I could see my sister sitting with her husband up the front of the Church. I was deeply moved to see her leave the pew to assist her son put on his vestments for the first time. The relationship of a mother and son is a precious one as we know but having the added dimension of family in my case added to the poignancy of the occasion.
Jesus in the Gospel for this Sunday speaks of the marriage relationship, 'from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. This is why a man must leave father and mother, and the two become one body.' Today we can pray for our own parents , for married couples, for family life, for the myriad of family, church and community relationships knowing that God is with us through good times and bad.
We know that sometimes our relationships are strained and can breakdown but somehow given the fact that God is our creator and from the beginning has set things in motion is the source of our hope. God wants the very best for us, the fullness of life.
My song 'Our God can never be contained' from Serenity comes to mind. The life and relationship of the Trinity is poured out, overflowing and gifted to us so we in turn can gift it to others.