From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
January 31 – Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts!” Our Psalm implores us to listen to the voice of the Lord. Our challenge today is to hear it through all the clutter and noise of the pandemic, the social unrest and political discord, and especially the suffering of so many. St. Mark tells us though that Jesus speaks with an authority that amazes – you can’t help but recognize it. It is the truth of Jesus Christ spoken not only with words but with actions as well. God assures Moses of his Divine Presence when he says “I will be standing there in front of you.” He gives us that assurance as well. He will be with us always and everywhere. He comes to us through His Son. St. Paul tells us to put our anxieties aside and to listen and adhere to the Lord without distraction. When we hear his voice, we need to trust in his truth and love for us.
Jesus calls to each of us as he called to those early disciples. We share in the authority of his teaching as disciples in that we are connected to the source – through our Baptism and Confirmation – but we must stay connected to him, for God has entrusted his authority to each of us only to the extent that we allow him to be in our lives and to guide our actions. His voice comes to us through Scripture. It comes to us through prayer. It comes to us when we become quiet and still, truly seeking His will and not ours. It comes to us through the Eucharist and the presence of God in the events of our lives – if we will but only look for Him. Jesus did not call us just to do some of the things He did, He called us to be His presence for others. We are called to destroy evil in our world. We cannot do this unless we are determined to be Christ like. We have to speak and act in the way that Jesus did. Jesus spoke and acted with authority.
As Vincentians, we must be witnesses and continual reminders to the presence, compassion and love of our God. We are encountering people at a time when darkness and despair have entered their lives. We must be the light cutting through that darkness and reminding them of the eternal hope and salvation of our Lord. We can only do this when we serve God’s will faithfully. Do I truly seek His will, and ask for His presence, through fervent and continual prayer? Do I speak with my authority or the authority of Jesus? Do I speak with authority through my actions? Do I continually strive to make God’s presence known through my actions? Do I continually strive to soften my heart – and the hearts of others – that the voice of our Lord may be clearly heard?
Lord Jesus, you have the words of salvation and hope. Humble me that I might hear your voice and trust in your ways. Allow me to dispel the darkness of despair for others through the truth of your compassionate care. Help me to set aside my anxieties and those of others by focusing solely on your will for us. Let my heart be softened that I might hear the sweet sound of your voice. We pray all of this in your name. Amen