From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
November 21 – The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
As we enter the final week of our liturgical year, I am filled with gratitude for the great gifts God has graced us with – especially our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ –who we are reminded this week has provided all that we need – he is our “Alpha and Omega.” I am also filled with great gratitude for your prayers for Joyce and I during this time. Many of you know – and some do not – that I have been diagnosed with kidney cancer. God has blessed us with identifying the cancer while it is still contained in my right kidney. The kidney must be removed in the near future. Once done, our prayer is that the cancer will be gone. I ask your prayers as we journey over the next several months that God give me the strength, courage, and will to accept this suffering, recognizing that many others go through far worse, and that all of our sufferings combined still are nothing compared to what Jesus took on for us.
The last week in the hospital has given me time to reflect on a couple truths. First, God is in control. He gives us everything that we need, and we can do NOTHING without Him. As medicines and pain took effect on me, I found the words of my prayers slipping away to the point where my only prayer was “God help me.” My greatest pain was the loss of these words. My greatest joy was the realization that I did not need them. Your prayers sustained me, and Jesus provides all that we need. Even our prayers come first from God and are a gift for us to return. We sometimes can work so hard to earn our salvation and make the case for our will to God. We cannot earn anything though, for it is God’s mercy which provides all we need. Our only focus should be on love for God who is love itself. Jesus is our “faithful witness” and heavenly advocate.
The second truth is that Christ is present all around us. I saw Him in the doctors, nurses and aides who cared for me. I saw Him in my primary care doctor – and friend – who came and spent over an hour with me on his day off. I saw Him in the housekeeper who cleaned my room with a smile and a “God loves you!” I saw Him in the food service worker who helped me select my meals. I saw Him in the pastoral care team who brought me Jesus in the Eucharist – and in their presence – never in a hurry to leave. I saw Him in my wife, my rock, my advocate, my ‘Mama bear!’ He was all around me, lifting me even when I wasn’t aware.
As Vincentians, we need to be that presence to one another and to those we encounter. I have felt the love of my Vincentian family which reflects the love of my God. We need to help others who are hurting to feel God’s love; for His love is all that we need. How do I focus fully and completely on my love for God which comes from the Source of all love? How do I help others to do the same?
Lord Jesus, you are all I need – my Alpha and Omega. I love you Lord. I turn my life over to you Lord. God, help me! Amen