From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
September 26 – Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 27 – St. Vincent de Paul’s Feast Day
This Sunday we finish a series of five weeks of readings from the Letter of St. James. This is a short letter which in many ways is an exhortation to virtuous living and in which James teaches us about faith and it’s connection to works. Works is the fulfillment, or activation of our faith. Faith is a gift from God. When we chose to receive it with humility and thanksgiving, it is evidenced by our works. If we are not transformed by our faith to put it into practice, than our faith is not true and we have not embraced it. St. Vincent understood this and sought fervently to find true faith by looking to those Jesus associated with most – the vulnerable in society. His faith put into practice was the embracing of love itself. Selfless love seeking the needs of others over even his own. St. Vincent found that his faith became activated and charged with passion by following the heart of Jesus to its very core. He sought not just to ‘help’ the poor, but rather to enter deeply into relationship with them as Jesus does with us. As Pope Francis says, “get the smell of the sheep on you!”
As Vincentians, we too follow the example of St. Vincent, seeking to embrace our faith and activate our faith through care for the poor and the vulnerable. By doing works of charity we grow in holiness and faith. By caring for the poor, we walk with Christ and imitate His actions. Through home visits we meet the poor where they are at, seeking their friendship while offering ours. We connect our hearts to theirs, and we seek through any and all means to lift them in the hope of Jesus Christ. When we do, we find that no act of charity is foreign to us. When done with humility and trust and dependence on God, we become sharers in His Kingdom. Our faith becomes our works and our works become the fulfillment of our faith. How do I pursue my faith through my actions, seeking always to be in harmony with Jesus? How do I reflect the light of Christ to those whom I serve?
Lord Jesus, help me to embrace my faith and to activate it through a life of charity and love. Help me to humbly embrace your will for me with thanksgiving. Allow me to be transformed that my works may reflect your works, your mercy and your compassion. Give me the grace to place the needs of others in a place of prominence in my life. We pray all of this in your name. Amen