In Peter’s 2 nd letter this weekend we hear his account of the Transfiguration moment. In the gospel, as they come down from the mountain, Jesus instructs the apostles to say nothing about this until after the Resurrection. Before the Resurrection, no one would have believed them. But after, with the context of the occurrence of the Resurrection, the two work together to build the authority and credibility of what the apostles have to say. Our faith is given to us by God and made real by the experiences of those who came before us. The apostles shared their experiences and the events they witnessed to help others to come to believe. It is the joy, the confidence of true knowledge, and the love shared through compassionate care which makes the authenticity of their words become evident.
As Vincentians, we bring our experiences, our faith and all the things we have learned and seen with us as we minister to those in need. Sometimes they are people of faith who simply need to be reminded of God’s goodness and love for us. Other times, we may be the first ‘evidence’ of God’s goodness, through the ministry, compassion and care we provide. How do we convey the authenticity of our actions and the presence and working of Christ in the lives of those we serve WITHOUT obvious evangelization? Do we, in the words of St. Francis, “preach the gospel always, and use word only when necessary?”
Father, I give thanks to you for the witness of others, especially St. Vincent and Jesus who showed us your presence in the poor. I am grateful for all the experiences of my life – both good and bad – which have formed me. I ask that you grace me with the wisdom and humility to use those gifts you have provided to me to help others come to know your love, compassion and mercy. Allow me the grace of authenticity in doing your work. Let me be a witness to your presence in the world. I pray all of this in your Son’s name. Amen