This week’s readings make it very easy to focus on Jesus as the good shepherd being moved with pity to care for his flock. Indeed, that is a central part of the message. But look closely at the beginning of the gospel. “The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile.” He is teaching them the importance of accountability as well as the need to rest with one another – friendship.
As Vincentians, this is an essential part of who we are. WE come together at our conference meetings every other week to report on our activities and to discern what we have learned from our encounters with those in need. Most importantly, we come together in friendship, sharing with one another in the spirit of Jesus with his apostles. This essential element of friendship is an important part of our growth in holiness. Do I seek friendship with my fellow Vincentians? Do I rejoice with them in their joys and support them in their challenges?
Lord Jesus, instill in us a spirit of friendship. Through patience and kindness, with great humility, let us seek to embrace our fellow Vincentians in brotherly and sisterly love. Let us lift one another up in our shared vocation, that we might always see your presence both in those we serve and in one another. We pray all of this in your name. Amen
Paul is very clear in his letter to the Ephesians about our purpose of being in total accord with the will of God in all that we do and are so as to give praise and glory to him. “In him we were chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory.” In the gospel, Jesus gives us clear direction about how to go out fulfilling his will and completing his mission. We do not accomplish his mission alone, but rather, we go out two by two.
As Vincentians, we are reminded once again that our prime motivation is to grow in holiness by listening to the voice of God and doing his will for the praise and glory of him alone. Jesus tells us to do this by going out to the poor and vulnerable two by two taking his message of hope and healing. Sounds like the recipe for a good home visit. Do I walk humbly as part of a team, inspired by God’s will, carrying his message of hope out into the homes of those I visit? Does my passion for the Lord reflect in my passion for the poor?
Lord Jesus, let us see your kindness and mercy. Help us to discern your will that we might go out two by two into the homes of those in need, bringing praise and glory to your name. Instill in me the passion of your love for those who are most vulnerable. We pray all of this in your name. Amen
July 8 – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time July 4 – Feast of Blessed Pier-Giorgio Frassati, Member of the SSVDP
“Where did he get all this? What kind of wisdom is he endowed with? How is it that such miraculous deeds are accomplished by his hands?.” The people are amazed at what Jesus is able to do. We should be equally amazed for He is the great healer – of all things! We are his instruments here on earth, guided by the Spirit whom He gave to us. Our Gospel Acclamation tells us that “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor.” Nothing is impossible for our Lord and His mercy is overwhelming. We should “fix our eyes on the Lord and plead for His mercy.”
As Vincentians, this call should have special meaning to us as we go to the poor, offering God’s mercy and healing. We should also recognize that no circumstances or difficulties are beyond our Lord’s ability to hear. We bring His healing and mercy to all whom we visit when we keep our eyes fixed on His will. Do I come to the poor, the vulnerable and all those in need with my eyes fixed on Christ that He might work through me? Am I an instrument of His love? Do I stand in awe and wonderment recognizing the true hope He brings to all?
Lord Jesus, help me to fix my eyes only on you. Give me the courage to be your instrument in ministry to all those in need. With true humility and great zeal let me take your healing and mercy to all you bring before me. As I look in wonderment at all your works, help me to share the joy, the hope and the glad tidings of your great love out to all. We pray all of this in your name. Amen
“I will praise you Lord, for you have rescued me.” Our Responsorial Psalm in many ways captures the essence of our readings this week. God rescues us – brings hope to us when there appears to be none. Our first reading reminds us “God did not make death.” This was brought on by the actions of man. Sin, pain, sickness and death are on us. But God rescues us when we have faith. When all else fails us, we must go to the Lord in faith as Jairus did and as the woman with hemorrhages did. With humility, patience and great prayer, we look to the Lord in faith that He might heal our needs.
As Vincentians, we need to continually remember that it is not our works, but the work of the Lord which brings healing and wholeness to those in need. We are called to come before the Lord in true humility, seeking His guidance and will in prayer and with patience, that those in pain may find comfort and hope. We need to recognize that no situation is beyond God’s touch. We need to be open to go where He leads us in all situations. Do I go to the Lord in total and complete humility recognizing that all is from Him? Do I seek His will in prayer and discernment? Do I have faith that He will provide what is needed when it is needed?
Lord Jesus, help my faith that I may trust and believe in you always! Help me to humbly bring all situations before you, prayerfully seeking your will for me and for those I minister to in your name. Let me be as Jairus and the woman – trusting fully and completely in your presence, your goodness, your mercy and your will. We pray all of this in your name. Amen