From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
July 12 – Fifteenth Sunday Ordinary Time
“The sufferings of the present time are nothing compared to the glory to come.” Suffering – and the picking up of the cross – are part and parcel of our human experience. Jesus tells us repeatedly we must pick up our cross and follow him. Paul reminds us in our second reading this week that we will suffer greatly, but our eternal reward will be infinitely greater. Many are suffering today from the pandemic, from separation from family and friends, from the economic collapse, and from the escalating violence in the country. Perhaps the biggest suffering though is fear – fear driven by the chaos, by a loss of hope and by a loss of connectedness – especially to our faith. Jesus calls us to attach ourselves to His suffering – and to His Word. For He has given us the promise of hope and salvation that we might go out spreading the Good News and overcoming the chaos and fear. We are the handmaids of the Lord! Many may not be able to make it to church today, but we can bring church to the many!
As Vincentians, the truth of the embracing of suffering goes even further. Much as the fireman runs into the fire, so too we run to the suffering – the sufferings of others that we might embrace both them and their pain. Especially today, when we may be the only promise of hope some experience in their lives. It is in that suffering that we can both see and reflect the presence of Christ. It is there that he meets us to walk with us. Do I work to deny or hide from suffering, or do I embrace it? Mine and that of others? Do I commit to be the handmaid of the Lord, especially as a servant to those who are hurting?
Father, let me willingly embrace my sufferings, connecting myself to the cross of Christ. Allow me to accept suffering with the grace of Mary, the Mother of Jesus who knew suffering more intimately than anyone. Help me to reach out to others, helping them to both embrace their suffering and connecting myself to their pain that they may feel the presence of Christ in the midst of their pain. I pray all of this in your Son’s name. Amen