From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
August 2 – Eighteenth Sunday Ordinary Time
In our readings this week we hear the parable of the feeding of the 5000. Easily forgotten about in the telling of this parable though, is how it all began. Imagine the grief Jesus must feel at the death of his ‘cousin’, friend and baptizer; John the Baptist. When he hears the news, he seeks some time to be alone – perhaps to process the news – and as is his way, turns to the Father for comfort and solace. But there is little time as the crowds close in. Next, he instructs the disciples to feed the people with just five loaves and two fish. I can imagine the disciples being overwhelmed and saying “Do what!? Are you kidding me!?” They are able to accomplish their mission only through the intercession of the Lord. “Bring them (the loaves and fish) here to me” he says, and “all were satisfied.” All of us are confronted in life by times of overwhelming grief like Jesus was, or times when we are called to accomplish tasks which appear impossible like the disciples did. We MUST take time to turn to God in prayer and place our trust in His plan and His goodness. When we do, truly nothing is impossible.
As Vincentians, we are often brought face to face with those who are suffering. Many times circumstances appear to be beyond our ability to help. It is in these times particularly that we need to make the presence of God evident through our actions AND trust in Divine Providence. Through prayer we seek God’s will and guidance to help us in bringing hope to those we care for. When we do, we open the door to the possibilities that Go’s love for us brings with it. Do I turn difficult situations over to God seeking His help and direction? Do I trust fully and completely, going first in prayer and gratitude, submitting always to His will? Have I been witness to the grace of ‘miracles’ from God in my life and my ministry?
Father, let nothing separate me from you. Let me always reside in your love, walking humbly in your way, speaking always with your truth, working tirelessly with your mercy and compassion. Grace me with the courage to trust in your ways. Help me to turn to you always in prayer and thanksgiving – as Jesus did – in times of sorrow and suffering; in times of great challenges and impossible situations; knowing that nothing is impossible for you! I pray all of this in your Son’s name. Amen