Deacon's Corner


Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of July 15th, 2018- 

   Most of us are familiar with the acronym WWJD which helps us make Christ like decisions in our daily life. Yesterday I came across a new acronym, JWAR, that solidified for me the life of Jesus as presented by Mark and the training of His disciples as seen clearly in today's Gospel reading.

Jesus Was an Airborne Ranger is the title of a recent book published by a Chaplain and Captain in the Army Airborne Division and JWAR is the acronym he used in writing this book while on active deployment in Afghanistan. The book lays out how Jesus actions in the Gospels line up closely with the principles of Airborne Ranger training to be bold, disciplined and unafraid to effectively carry out rapid strike assaults against the enemy. Jesus has a Mission from the Father, as we see clearly in Mark, and he has been carrying it out in rapid fashion while training his disciples, his new family, along the way. Now these disciples are being sent out to do the same mission and in the similar manner.

JWAR can remind us daily that we are part of the Church Militant, called as Missionary Disciples to be true Soldiers of Christ in our Spiritual Warfare against sin and the devil in a world that has lost a sense of sin and is in denial about the devil. To do so we need to be bold, disciplined and unafraid to respond rapidly when facing injustice and rescuing those wounded or being held captive by the enemy. To do so most effectively we must internalize The Way of Christ so that we can immediate know WWJD and respond rapidly in that Way.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue

Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of July 8th, 2018- 

   Our Gospel today brings to a close the second section of the first half of Mark, commonly referred to as 'Jesus New Family'. Earlier in the Gospel Jesus told us that his family is made up of all who do the will of His Father. The disciples while flawed stick with Jesus who they only recently met because they have faith seeking understanding. At the same time those who have known Jesus a long time are unable to get their heads around his newly revealed and true identity because they cannot set aside their previous understanding. Despite all the new facts set before these family members and neighbors showing Jesus to be the long awaited Messiah, they are rendered incapable of faith because of old understanding. Jesus focus will now be placed on enamoring his disciples before moving on to Jerusalem and the passion where their faith will be surely tested.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue



Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of July 1st, 2018- 

   Today's Gospel is so full of hope for those who put their faith in Jesus who has complete faith in the Father! The woman who has suffered greatly with hemorrhages for 12 years and is socially outcast places all hope in Christ without reserve and at great personal risk by breaking through the crowd. Her faith saves her and she venerates Christ in complete awe to the power of God with no attention to the crowd.

Jairus who has his own suffering to deal with, as his 12 year old daughter lay dying, sees this woman's faith but only with the encouragement of Jesus that sets aside his deepest fear in front of the discouraging crowd. The disciples, having seen Jesus many miracles and having his parables explained to them by Jesus, ridicule his question today much like the crowd ridicules his faith filled response to “raising” Jairus’ daughter. The difference in the two being the disciples stay with Jesus despite their doubts while the crowd will abandon him.

Today's masterful writing by Mark shows us the full continuum of faith determined by how much value we put in our relationship with God or on the opinion of the crowd.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue



Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of June 24th, 2018- 

   John the Baptist is not only a saint but also considered to be the last and greatest prophet of the Old Testament by Christians. John's importance can be seen in the central role he plays in all four Gospels. Our Gospel readings for today's Solemnity of St John's Nativity come from Luke's Gospel which parallels John's nativity with the Nativity of Christ. We do not read from the Gospel of Mark today because this earliest written of our four Gospels has no nativity stories. Rather, Mark begins with a prologue (Mark 1: 1-13) in which adult St John the Baptist, Jesus, and God the Father all speak to the reader of who Jesus truly is, the Messiah who has come to reopen our relationship with God closed off by the sin of Adam and Eve. Take time this week to mediate and study Mark's Prologue in preparation for better understanding what unfolds in this classic text we hear from on Sundays through to Thanksgiving.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue



Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of June 17th, 2018- 

   Francis J Moloney, SDB, wrote an excellent book entitled Mark Storyteller, Interpreter, Evangelist after his completion of a line by line commentary on the Gospel of Mark. I am reading this book now and find that it helps me make greater sense out of this Book of the Gospel which Moloney considers not only the inspired word of God but a classic text of literary writing. Over the course of the next five months I will share some of Moloney's insights in this Corner of the bulletin to better understand this year's Sunday Gospel.

We are currently reading what is commonly called the Galilean section (1:1-8:30) which helps the reader understand who Jesus is as Peter declares at the end of this section; "You are the Christ" (8:27). Today's reading comes out of Jesus creation of a "new family" formed by his disciples who he takes the time to teach as his "privileged insiders". We as baptized Christians have that same special place in the "new family" as we are each called to be missionary disciples.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue