From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
February 2 – Presentation of the Lord
This week we celebrate the Presentation of the Lord. It is a Feast which used to be called the Purification of Mary because of the prophesy of Simeon. His prophesy points to the suffering Jesus will endure which leads to the sorrows Mary will endure. Our reading from Malachi talks of the refiner’s fire which purifies. These readings – these thoughts are not for the meek or faint of heart. The suffering which Jesus endured was for the purification of our sons. He took on that which he did not have to so that we might have our burden lightened. Mary accepted her sorrows out of obedience to God’s will and acceptance of His Providence. In the presentation, Jesus and Mary both model for us complete humility, a complete embracing of and submission to the Father’s will, and complete self-sacrifice that the burden for others might be lessened.
As Vincentians, we are called to accept this role in relationship to those in need. The Letter to the Hebrews says “because he was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.” We are called to help others through the experiences of our sufferings. In turn, through their suffering they teach us to embrace acceptance, patience and hope. How do I use my suffering and my pains to help me to minister to others? Do I listen to their story that I might share in their pains and learn through their hopes, their fears, and their acceptance? Do I seek to find and embrace God’s will in all things?
Lord Jesus, purify me of my sinfulness, my selfishness and my pride. Allow me to take on the suffering of others as Jesus takes on my suffering as his own. Give me the humility and patience of Mary to take all these things into my heart, accepting and trusting in your Divine Providence. Help me to lessen the burdens of others by graciously accepting their pain as my pain and showing them the light of your love. We pray all of this in your name. Amen