From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
September 12 – Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Get behind me Satan! You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” These harsh words of Jesus to Peter are a stark reminder to us all that it is God’s will and not ours which must always prevail. Peter thinks he has a better plan and so doesn’t listen closely enough to what Jesus is telling him. “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”, Jesus says. Suffering is a part of what we all must face and embrace. It is often through suffering that we come to better understand our own salvation. The words in our reading from Isaiah reflect the attitude of the ideal servant of God. “The Lord God opens my ear that I may hear and I have not rebelled, have not turned back.” Even though the servant encounters their own suffering in the work they do, they stay true to God’s will for them and others. They trust in God’s will, and their works reflects their abiding faith in him. This is exactly what St. James is calling us to in his letter as well.
As Vincentians, we need to continually seek God’s will in all situations. We need to recognize that it is not good enough for us to say we care about the poor – our works need to reflect that. As St. James points out, it is of little use to say “’go in peace and keep warm and eat well,’ but you do not give them the necessities of the body.” We need to trust in where he is leading us and those we minister to. We need to recognize our dependence on his help. How have I been challenged to set aside my thoughts as I seek to know God’s will? How do I accept that suffering is a part of the human condition and can help us grow in holiness when we pick up our crosses?
Our closing prayer comes to us from Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM, who was the fire chaplain killed 9/11/2001. Fr. Mychal’s body was the first one released from Ground Zero and was death certificate #1 for that day. Dennis Coyne, one of our Conference Spiritual Advisors in the Covington Diocese found this in the St. Anthony Messenger. It is a perfect prayer for all of us as we prepare for home visits that we might truly seek and follow God’s will and not our own.
“Lord take me where you want me to go, let me meet who you want me to meet. Tell me what you want me to say, and keep me out of your way.” We pray all of this in your name. Amen