From a homilydelivered last month at the ordination of deacons by Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, of Vancouver:
In the Upper Room Jesus tells his disciples they are not just servants, but invited to something deeper, and more profound: they are called to friendship. “No longer do I call you servants, Jesus said to the twelve, but I have called you friends” (Jn 15:15). The Lord makes us his friends. This is the most beautiful part of being a Christian and, especially, of being a deacon: becoming a friend of the Lord. Before you proclaim God’s word or preach, spend time in prayer meditating on the depth of the Lord’s love for us. Ask him to make you a messenger of his redeeming love. Before you assist at the altar of the Lord or distribute Holy Communion, baptize, or preside at a wedding, funeral, or a prayer service, spend time in prayer; “abide” with him. When his love fills your heart, you will be a good servant of the Church’s sacramental life. And before you serve those who press upon you or are troubled in mind and heart, meditate on how the Lord in his love identified with those who are in need, his “little ones.” Thus you will see Jesus in those you serve.