Results filtered by “Deacon Jeff Kucharski”

The Cross and the Light

main image

 It was an honor and privilege to carry our Lord’s cross into the church this past Good Friday. The week before ordination my spiritual director asked me if I had thought of a gift to ask God for at ordination. This very idea had been on my mind for a while. I responded too him that I desired the grace of clearly recognizing someone who was suffering and the ability to accompany and assist them in carrying a portion of their cross.

After venerating the cross Good Friday afternoon, I sat in the sanctuary, a witness to our parish family bringing forward their personal sorrows. It was difficult for me to hold back my tears.  My heart was heavy with those burdens which many of you have shared with me these past seven months. The mysteries of ordination have been astonishing. All I could do in those moments was to pray for each of you, asking Jesus to carry some of the weight of your cross as you united your suffering to His.

In our second reading today, Peter addresses a working class of Christian slaves. Peter asks those slaves to respond to unjust treatment without resorting to violence. His request for patient suffering is compared to that of Jesus who won righteousness for all humanity. God’s grace and strength is available for us when we endure our suffering with that same patience. 

Someone asked me this past week if the Easter Candle which I brought into the sanctuary at Easter Vigil was heavy. In contrast to the heaviness of the many sufferings in our world today, the Easter Candle was lightweight, almost buoyant. The Roman Missal summarizes the light symbolism of the Easter Candle perfectly, “May the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.” This connects the Easter candle to Jesus as the “light of the world,” as Jesus describes himself in the Gospel of John.

From the Easter candle all the other candles in the church are lit showing how Jesus is the source of our light. May you carry the light of Christ with you this Easter Season and continue to share the weight of your cross with Jesus. God’s Easter blessings to you all.

Contagious Charitable Service

main image

The morning of ordination to the diaconate I woke to my heart full of peaceful anticipation. As I buttoned the top button on my cleric shirt, my son Zak walked quietly into my room.  Zak asked with enthusiasm if he could put my collar on for me. Of course I agreed and he slipped in the collar, carefully centering it left and right.  Immediately after he was finished, he wrapped his arms around me tightly and gave me one of his best hugs and told me he loved me. After a moment, he stepped back a few steps to take a better look. Zak then burst out laughing in joyful excitement and when he was finished returned to hugging me.

I can remember back four years ago attending the ordination of the class of 2018 as an aspirant and feeling terrified of the thought of being one of the men ordained a deacon; proclaiming the Gospel, preaching, and baptizing. Yikes! As I attended the ordination of the class of 2020, but as a candidate this time, things were transforming inside me. Throughout formation, I had discovered how service done in charity resulted in God pouring affirmations of joy and peace into my heart.

Anyone who prays the Liturgy of the Hours is very familiar with Psalm 100 for Lauds on the Fridays of the first and third weeks of Psalter (Psalm 100:2); Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before him with joyful song. The morning of ordination I discovered that charitable service is also contagious and that God used ordination to pour his joy and peace into my family too. May God make service contagious in our families, our parishes, our communities, and in our world so that people of all nations may sing to the Lord a joyful hymn. May God bless your Sunday!