Welcome to the Deacon's Corner
Deacon Mike Orange is a Deacon of the Diocese of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. A member of Saint Vincent Parish, Deacon Mike was assigned to Holy Family after his ordination, to assist Fr. Dan Mahoney by administering the sacraments and serving the parish community. Deacons are called to embody the image of Christ the servant; they represent the church in the community, and at Sunday Mass they bring the needs of the community to the attention of the church. We are very blessed to have Deacon Mike with us. As an extension of his ministry, he has created this "Deacon's Corner" to share his wisdom with us. May all who come here, come to find God though an encounter with his Deacons words!
October 19th, 2017
The eyes are the window to the soul......
Have you ever heard this saying? It certainly has a very deep meaning. Everything we see good and bad impacts us in ways that we might not even know. Our soul is our connection to God. We can choose to allow our eyes to see everything or we can say do I really want God to see my soul with things that might be questionable? Do I want my soul to be as pure as I can?
We always have the right to choose - that was the greatest gift God gave us....
September 9th, 2017
Confronting our own sinfulness......
There comes a point in life where we must confront our own sinfulness. This great revelation can be very freeing for some. For others, it can actually be a point of turning away from God. Many people have feelings of unworthiness over take them. They become dejected and fall into despair. Oh, I’ll never be good enough. It is very easy to fall into this kind of thought. Maybe your life has not turned out the way you thought. Maybe you have... been struggling with some kind of addiction that you feel will never go away.
God, in his great mercy, has a better plan. When we follow Jesus he shows us His mercy, and in doing so we allow God’s strength to overcome our weakness and sinfulness. That changes everything! In Scripture, Matthew 18:22 Jesus talks about forgiveness, he says: "No, not seven times," Jesus replied, "but seventy times seven! What He means in this statement is never stop forgiving.
You see we are suppose to forgive, forgive.....forgive. Jesus knows it is not easy. He has a merciful heart. He knows the problems you deal with, the addictions, the financial distress, the deep struggle you deal with. But Jesus forgives! Seventy times seven. You need not despair! just lay it at His feet even if it is daily. Just pray that whatever sin or weakness you have that He will help you get rid of it. Pray daily, Pray always! As Paul said Pray without ceasing!
Father, we thank you for your mercy. Help us not to fall into despair and dwell on our own weakness, but on the strength of Jesus. Amen.
August 21st, 2017
Building or Breaking down?
How often do we realize that we breakdown relationships instead of building them up? More often than you think. Even with our spouses we can belittle or give a sarcastic remark that hurts. With our friends, close friend, we tend to take advantage of them and think nothing of it. We use close people like they were a paper towel that you use and throw away.
How we conduct ourselves shows how we are as a person. We shouldn't be like the throw away society we have become. Once that piece of equipment is broke we just throw it away. When did we become like that towards people? We use to love to fix things that broke, we received much satisfaction when we fixed things, we took care of what we had so we wouldn't break it.
We should do the same with the relationships we have created. Relationships are the most precious thing we can have. Jesus shows that in every instance of His life when He was on this earth. In fact that is what he wants us to do everyday. To build relationships.
So today, look at how you treat your spouse, friends, coworkers, and even strangers. Ask yourself do I break things and throw them away? Or am I a builder.
August 7th, 2017
Let us be brilliant......
We have so many opportunities to be brilliant in our lives that we should never lose a chance to be that way. When you look at the world and see the suffering, war, despair, and all the discouraging things it is easy not to be brilliant. You can shine your light upon all people around you and bring your brilliance to the world instead of negativity.
In Matthew 17:1-9 Jesus was transfigured and you saw all His glory in the brilliance of the light that was shown through him. The story of the Transfiguration teaches us what we are called to be, the reason for our creation. We must never forget that in Jesus not only do we see God, but we see humanity, but not just any humanity, but humanity as it was meant to be. In Jesus we must see ourselves and what we are called to be. In short, we are called to be transfigured, to reflect the divine light through our very bodies.
We must work on becoming better Christians. If we want to experience the transfiguration of our being that comes from being with God, as we see in Jesus on the mountain, then we have to engage in our faith. We must become on fire for it. We must let the light, that brilliant light that was seen in Jesus' transfiguration show through us.
Let us be brilliant in our lives! let the light shine in you and shine it on everyone around you. Be the person that shows love to all people like Jesus does.
Don't hide in the dark! Use the gifts God has given you. Let the transfiguration of your life start. Let's all do something, something small on our road to experience our own transfiguration, which is the joy of God's presence in us!
Let us all be brilliant!
July 3rd, 2017
When we build relationships we want them to last. Whether it is friends, family, lovers, spouses. We love that closeness that it brings. We laugh... together, we have fun together, we cry , and we are their for each other no matter what. A relationship is a deep understanding of yourself and the connection you have with that other person.
Today thank God for the relationships that you have and thank the people that you have relationships with. Most of all thank God for His relationship to you. Even if you didn't think you had one with Him. He has one with you.
July 14th, 2017 of ground are you......
What type of ground are you.....
Anyone who has gardened knows if the ground you are planting is not fertile your flowers or vegetables won't grow. In fact we have seen this as the plants grow. Either they wither or the growth becomes weak and looks unhealthy or dies from the sun or lack of nutrition. When the ground is good and you see the beautiful blossoms from your flowers or the wonderful plump vegetables you feel like you have done your job in prompting the right growth....
The ground in which we plant needs to be feed and cultivated. It needs food so the plants you put in can grow.
So what type of ground are you?
We live our life just like the ground, if we don't have good food we won't grow. Our health is jeopardized and we can feel it when we don't eat right. The same thing goes for our spiritual life. If we don't feed our spirit we will never grow the way Jesus wants us to grow. He is the good food of our lives. We need to feed off of Him. He gives us the right food when we read scriptures. When we spend time in prayer it is the nutrition that gets intertwined in our souls that allows us to mature. He is the water that allows us to stretch ourselves towards the sun. He is what brings us close to Him.
So I ask you what type of ground are you? Are you dry with no nutritional value? Or are you a ground that longs for the food of Jesus. If you mix yourselves with His word you can't go wrong. You will grow in His love and for the love of others. You will blossom into a person of faith. And just like the flower or plump vegetable you will carry your growth to someone else. They will see the growth and want the same.
Today crack open scriptures pick Mt 13:1-23 and before you read ask God to make you a ground that is fertile, a ground that will allow you to produce.
June 12th, 2017
Most people would like to pray but they say they can't find the time. They are too busy or at the end of the day they are just too exhausted. The best way to start...is to start! It is that simple. Here are a few things I do that might help. We feel that we should kneel when we pray. Well by all means if you can great! But often times I will wake up and I am still lying in bed and I say a pray that lasts no more than a minute. I thank God for another day, to give me strength to do His will and not my own, and to be the best person I can be for Him and everyone around me. That's it! That start's my morning! If you do that everyday and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you then you can't go wrong.
Second through out the day if something good happens right then and there just say a simple thank you to Christ for the blessing. It doesn't take long. His grace and blessing are sufficient for us all.
The end of the day, you can kneel or as you lie in bed before you drift off. Just review the day in your mind with Christ. Ask him for His forgiveness for the things that didn't follow His will and thanks for the many blessing seen and unseen.
See now you just started your pray life with the one who loves you the most.
June 6, 2017
The cross you bear……
Bear your cross faithfully because the one you bear is much lighter than someone else’s.-
We all have crosses to bear and sometimes it seems like you can’t bear it any longer. It seems like this cross you carry is about to break you. It feels like the weight is so heavy and burdensome that at any moment you are about to collapse and give up.
The cross you bear is much lighter than maybe the person next to you, and their cross is much lighter than the one person next to them. Each person carries their own cross with its burdens that only they can handle. In our life we come upon these burdens and see them for what they are and initially we take them on because that is what we do. We say…I can handle them… and we throw it on our back. The next one comes along and we do the same, again and again, and again. We don’t realize it as we go through life that there is help. Nope! We just take the burdens and say I can handle it. Then what happens. We come to a point that we can’t take one more burden. We reach the breaking point. Our legs are shaking because the weight is so heavy, our mental strain is beyond comprehension, and you are ready to give up. Maybe you are at the point saying that my life just isn’t worth it and I am done. You are screaming in your mind. GOD! WHERE ARE YOU? Every time I need you you are not there!
Well now here is how Jesus sees it. You and Jesus are walking along on your life’s journey and you come upon that first burden. Jesus puts out his hands to help but you just throw it on your back. You continue your journey and again He puts out his hands and you throw that burden on your back. Again and again, and again Jesus offers and you don’t see it and you continue to add that weight to your life. Then your reach your breaking point and scream out
WHERE ARE YOU……..
You see He is there all the time waiting for you just to say Lord I can’t bear this alone can you help me? You see so often we think we can do it alone and we can handle anything. But Jesus is at your side at the best of times and at life’s worst times walking with you and waiting for you just to say, Lord help me bear my cross. You were never meant to carry your cross alone. Whatever those crosses are, small or large even the ones that you think are so small that you may think if you told someone they would laugh at you. Each person has their own cross and what you may think is small and insignificant may be the heaviest to them.
Lent is a time for you to look to Jesus and finally say Lord, help me bear my cross. Help me bear all my crosses. Now imagine this…. You come across your burden and Jesus picks up your burden and partially puts it on his back and pulls you close to him and the other portion is on your back. Can you picture it? Both of you together carrying the burden. His arm straddling the burden and resting his arm and hand on your back to comfort and support you, and you are doing the same to him.
For God so love the world that he sent his only son to carry all our burdens on the cross so that we may have a heavenly life with Him. - John 3:16 -
May your Lent be a time for letting Jesus into your life.
May 23rd, 2017
We must all ask ourselves: how am I letting myself be guided by the Holy Spirit so that my life and my witness to the faith might be of unity and communion? … What am I doing with my life?” Pope Francis asked, raising his voice. “Am I creating unity? Or am I dividing, with my gossip, criticism, and jealousies? What am I doing? Let's think about this.”
Great words from Pope Francis. So what is the Holy Spirit doing in your life? Do you include the HS to act in your life? Do you even consider it? Unity and Communion the pope said so how are you accomplishing this in your family, work, friends, and strangers. It is about time we look around and take stock in our own life and be honest with ourselves. Ask the question: How have I done at living a life of faith in God.
I truly enjoy this pope. He ask the simplest questions that we should be all asking ourselves. He is a man of the people. God Bless him and his guidance.
May 18, 2017
What really counts…..
When all is said and done and everything is stripped away. No degrees, no accolades, no bank accounts full of money. We will be standing with Christ as He shows us our life. We will walk together and he will point at a person, maybe 10, maybe 100's maybe even 1000's. We will ask who are they? He will say they are the people you have touched in your life and brought to me. It is then you will realize that you fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. (2 Tim 4:7) Christ will say come my good and faithful servant. Come and live in my kingdom, where there is no pain, no sorrow but joy.
Don't be the one that Christ shows you your life and there is no one He is pointing too.
Learn to know Christ, love and live your faith because in the end what else matters.
May 16, 2017
In the depths of your soul......
We often fill our lives with so much that we don't really have time to be alone. Most times people do this on purpose not to feel pain or they are scared to be alone with themselves. They hide from something that happened in their lives or they never had an understanding that you are never alone.
Deep down in the quietness of your soul is God. It is He that guides us in our lives if only we strip away all the clutter. It is not easy to lay everything at His feet, the pain, hurt, sadness, abuse, loneliness, being afraid, and all other fears that we have. We believe if we fill our lives with the business of the world we will get by, we won't think about it. Well you might get away with it for a while but it always catches up.
We need to realize that Jesus took all the pain when He died for us. It is in this relationship with Him that we live. It is in the depths of your soul that you will find peace and the truth of yourself and your life with Him. We don't need to be scared or fill our lives with noise when we have Him to guide us. We can put all our worries on Him and ask Him to see us through.
Can you sit quietly with God and ask Him to show you how to live for Him? Will you ask Him for a relationship with Him?
In the depths of your soul you will find peace and love if you just look to Him. Open your heart and let Him in.
May 3, 2017
Do you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in your heart?
Do you ever feel the Holy Spirit guiding you in your life? Maybe you don't know it is the Holy Spirit. But you feel something moving you to do more in your life. Maybe you feel like you should go to church more or pray more. Maybe you feel you should do more for the community or for people who are in need. Maybe it is thrown in your face and you can't ignore it anymore.
The HS nudges us, tries to wake us up, and slaps us in the face sometimes. We all live very busy lives. Believe me I know, we all know. It seems like we don't have time to breath let alone anything else in our lives.
If you didn't know we all are born with a heart that wants to know God. If you have ever read Corinthians 2: 6-10
"Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord for we walk by faith, not by sight we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."
Our heart longs for God. Why? It is simple... He loves us, He made us. He wants us to love like Jesus loves us. Our lives are very short on this earth so we need to step back and look around and ask ourselves - am I doing the will of God? Do I love the people around me or just so busy with what I am doing I neglect what is in my heart. What the Holy Spirit is trying to get you to see and hear.
Today spend time in quiet and ask the Holy Spirit to wake you up. Ask that you see the needs around you, the people who need help, love, and attention. Listen to the Holy Spirit now for one day we will be standing with the Lord and you will be asked.....Have you loved like I loved you?
April 24, 2017
Happy Easter Season! It is all about second chances as our Lord provides us. We live in a world that for the most part doesn't tolerate second chances to much. If you make a mistake you pay for it, whether at work, friends, acquaintances, even some times with relatives. But with Jesus it is all about second chances. He loves us so much that we celebrate Easter every year so we can understand that God is all about forgiving and coming home.
Coming home doesn't that sound good! When we are away from our family for long periods of time it is so nice to come home. We feel safe! loved, whether it is our own family or our immediate family it is nice to come home and see them even as imperfect as they are.
Well this is what Easter is all about! coming home. God loves us so much that he sent His only Son to die and rise for our sins so we can all come home. He gives us the opportunity to start fresh each Easter..... really every day. He asks us to look into ourselves and admit that we need the love he has for us. It is His way of showing us the we can be Easter clean every day if we just focus on Him every day. He is our guide, he is our Father that will lead us in the right direction. All we have to do is ask Him.
This Easter season don't let it end from last Sunday. Easter is the next 50 days. Ask God to help you to make Him the center of your life. To allow Him to guide you in everything you do. To have conversations with Him constantly. To give you strength when things are not going well. Ask Him to be the best person you can be. To be a Holy person. To be a person like Christ.
May your Easter season be filled with many blessings!