From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
July 19 – Sixteenth Sunday Ordinary Time
We hear this week the familiar parable about the sowing of seeds. Where they are sown – on the pathway, on rocky ground, or on good ground – determines how well they take. Sometimes lost in this parable is what our role is in the sowing of the seeds and how we go about it. We are called to sow the seeds of God’s word and love. They are the seeds which Jesus gives us – the seeds of truth. It simply is not enough just to hear the Word of God. We are called to let it take root within us and to also spread it to others nourishing it by our care. Our challenge is even greater today, because with the pandemic and all the restrictions, we are not able to even get to the fields to plant the seeds, to nourish them or to tend the crops. Satan foments chaos and turmoil wearing down our resolve. It makes it critically important that we make sure we stay rooted in the fertile ground of prayer and reflection to sustain us. We cannot do it on our own. But St. Paul reminds us in Romans that our longing for salvation finds its validation in Hope. And Hope enables us to wait with endurance – an endurance that has the “Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness.” Without prayer, we are lost in life. Without the Spirit we are lost in prayer. God in his Divine wisdom graces us with both if we will but turn to Him with humility and trust.
As Vincentians during this time, this is especially true. As we minister to those who are in crisis – often devoid of hope and bathed in despair – we must plant those seeds of hope, nourishing them as we go. With the Spirit as our guide, we need to seek now more than ever the tools of patience, kindness, generosity, and charity that we may hear the needs of our neighbors – and allow them to see the face of Christ through our ministry to them. We must turn to God in prayer, trusting the Spirit who knows our heart to give us the wisdom, the hope and the love to touch the hearts of those in need. God looks to us to tend to the garden using whatever tools needed to cultivate good fruits wherever possible. Do I seek God’s will in prayer, trusting that He will be with me? Is my ministry firmly rooted first and foremost in prayer?
Father, let me be your gardener, spreading the seeds of your love, hope and mercy. Give me the compassion and patience needed to allow your seeds to take root within me and in others. Help me to nourish those you bring before me, tending to them with prayer, with truth, and with solidarity that we may grow together in hope. Let my harvest be bountiful that it might enhance your garden both here on earth and in heaven to come. I pray all of this in your Son’s name. Amen