From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
November 17 – Thirty-third Sunday Ordinary Time
Our readings look to the end times but address our behaviors in the here and now. We are to be faithful, diligent and persistent. It is important that we engage fully in society today, being productive and engaging in work that we not be burdens to others. We should act with the confidence of what is to come, but the wisdom and persistence to recognize and follow truth even in the face of persecution. Our confidence comes from trust in God and a willingness to accept and embrace our crosses of those challenges which come into our lives. The readings bring out the importance of the dignity of work, both for ourselves and for others. It is through work and perseverance that we connect to both our crosses and the hope of the future.
As Vincentians, it reminds us of an important aspect of discernment. We need to help our neighbors in need but not to the point of enabling. Our objective should always be to restore dignity and hope by giving a hand up and not simply a handout. Our objective is not to create or enable continued dependence on us. Sometimes the answer needs to be no to continued assistance but yes to encouragement and support. It takes discernment, patience and honesty (simplicity) in some instances to help our neighbors (and ourselves) to understand what is truly needed. Do I properly discern what is most needed for those whom God brings before me? Do I approach them in humility, but with honesty and patience when what they are asking for is not what they most need? Do I provide true help, or do I simply enable?
Lord Jesus, help give me the grace to enter into discernment of your will for those who come to me for assistance. Give me the wisdom to see what their true needs are that I might help them properly. Help me to always seek to restore dignity and hope to those in need that they might find their way back to productivity and faithfulness. Help me to grow in the virtue of simplicity and patience. We pray all of this in your name. Amen