The transitional deacon spoke today at his last Mass before leaving for Rome to finish his priestly formation. He linked all three readings to the theme of martyrdom. He said the virtue of charity is a sharing in the love of God. Love means to empty oneself for the good of another and Jesus did this perfectly. Human love is limited, but divine love is not limited. God transforms our finite charity to conform to his infinite charity. He also mentioned the example of St Lawrence, the deacon martyr.
He asked whether we loved early things so much that we are willing to forgo heavenly things, and he asked this of himself.
Personal note: Some people don’t like to hear a priest or deacon admit his own struggles. These are the folks who were scandalized when Pope Francis, in his first appearance as Pope, asked for the people’s prayers. I don’t think it diminishes the special nature of the ordained priesthood for a priest to view himself as a brother to parishioners. A priest is not a plaster saint to be put on a pedestal, after all.