From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
October 10 – Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In our gospel this weekend we hear the story of the rich young man who comes to ask Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. He is a good and virtuous person who obeys the commandments, is already generous and appears headed in the right direction. But Jesus tells him he must get rid of all his property and come and follow Him. Are we to take from this that we should have no money or material goods? Of course not. But what we must rid ourselves of are any barriers or obstacles that keep us from fully committing to Jesus. Fully committing means giving ourselves over to Him that He may use us as He sees fit. It is about trusting completely in Him and submitting fully in humility to Him. He wants our heart! Notice the line “Jesus, looking at him, loved him…” Jesus commits fully in love to us – so much so that he humbles himself taking the form of a slave (human) and dying on the cross for us. Our second reading reminds us that there is nothing concealed from the Father and that his word penetrates every fiber of our being. Knowing everything that is in our heart, He speaks directly to us in honesty and truth about the changes we must make to have eternal salvation. He looks deeply into this man’s heart – and ours as well – seeking the love he gives to us to be returned in kind.
As Vincentians, we are called to approach the poor and vulnerable in complete humility, honesty and trust. Our honesty must be laced with mercy and compassion. It should be grounded in the virtue of simplicity, patiently and compassionately helping those we minister to, to see the truth of their circumstances. We are to be a vehicle for Christ to work through. One problem we can have when caring for the poor, is we care for them instead of allowing Christ to care for them through us, and allowing them to see the face and love of Christ. Mother Teresa tells us “The poor are hungry not only for food, they are hungry to be recognized as human beings. They are hungry for dignity and to be treated as we are treated. They are hungry for our love.” Jesus looks at us loving us and calling us to Him. He calls us to extend our love to the vulnerable helping them to make the changes they need to. How do I minister with complete love, coming with humility, honesty and trust in God? How do I set my prejudices to the side?
Lord Jesus, help me to minister with complete humility and trust. Grant me the virtue of simplicity that I may help those whom I serve to see the truth of their situations. Help me to remove the barriers in my life that keep me from fully committing to you and to the poor. Let me be consumed by my love for you, that I may become that which you give to me. We pray all of this in your name. Amen