A number of years ago I was asked to be part of the RCIA (Rite of Christian initiation of Adults) team at our parish. My job kept me on the road a good deal of the time. Many of the RCIA evenings saw me rushing in from the airport.
Sr. Janet, our group leader, would always stop me and ask – “How is my itinerant preacher this evening?”
A number of years later I was ordained to the diaconate and I came to understand that Jesus and his friends were wanderers. They traveled along the road together from place to place teaching, healing and experiencing the people.
One of my favorite gospel stories is from Mark 1: 40-41 where Jesus is walking around and:
Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.”
This story was possible because Jesus was wandering through the countryside and he was available. He did not fear reaching down and touching the one that society judged to be untouchable.
So it seems to me it is good to wander, especially with Jesus by our side and that’s what we will do here on this blog. I will share with you some of my experiences along the road, wherever the road leads. I look forward to hearing from any fellow travelers that have decided to journey with Jesus and to be one of his followers who are not afraid to reach down and touch the untouchables.
One other thing about me that will help you put some of my posts into perspective. I was chosen to be in ministry to those touched by crime. I have had the opportunity to experience many wonderful and painful experiences over the past 6 years of ministry to ex-prisoners, victims of crime and their families. Many of the thoughts and stories I will share here are as a direct result of my time spent walking and wandering with Jesus and the “Good Thief” who has been given the name of Dismas by the Church. For more on our ministry please visit our website at: www.friendsofdismas.ca.
Happy trails!Deacon Mike Itinerant Preacher
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