From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
November 3 – Thirty-first Sunday Ordinary Time
“You have mercy on all because you can do all things.” Our first reading this week from the book of Wisdom presents God’s mercy and compassion more clearly than perhaps any place in the Old Testament. In these passages we hear about the gentleness and patience and generosity of a loving and merciful God. It points to the mercy Jesus shows in the gospels. For the second week in a row, he shows mercy to a tax collector – the group of perhaps the ‘greatest sinners’ of the day. But Jesus takes his mercy even further this week with Zacchaeus, expressing his desire to eat at his house. This was a sign of friendship and even intimacy. Jesus wants to be in Zacchaeus’ life despite his sins and shortcomings. Jesus has great patience and overwhelming mercy just as he did with the prostitute and so many others. As we all come to Jesus as repentant sinners, he replaces our guilt and shame with love and mercy that heals our wounds.
As Vincentians, we are called to be merciful as the Father is merciful. Not only are we called to be merciful though, we are called to seek out those who are hurting and in need of mercy, approaching them with patience, kindness, gentleness and generosity. We are to seek friendship that they may find the hope and healing that comes through merciful love. Do I offer the mercy of Christ to all those I encounter with patience and kindness? Do I seek out those who are hurting the most that I might help them to find the hope of Jesus Christ?
Lord Jesus, be merciful to me, a sinner! Give me the grace to accept your mercy and to repent of my sinfulness. Help me to find the patience and gentleness as I encounter others that allows them to feel your loving presence. Make me a vessel of your mercy and compassion that others may find hope and healing. We pray all of this in your name. Amen