From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
May 15 – Fifth Sunday of Easter
Our gospel finds Jesus giving final instructions to the apostles as he prepares for what is to come. “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified with him!” The final victory is soon to be won, when there will be “a new heaven and a new earth.” The Son of Man, our Lord Jesus Christ, earns the victory over sin and death for all of mankind. It is all His doing – a victory earned not by us, but for us, that we might share in the new hope that is eternal life; if we but believe in him. St. John’s vision in Revelations paints for us the picture of the new heaven and new earth, where sin and death are overcome. By the power of His Resurrection, selfishness and sinfulness, pride and greed, hatred and jealousy – indeed all that is contrary to God’s love has been eliminated.
New life, lived side by side with God and all the angels and saints is our destiny in the New Jerusalem. But ours is not a passive role of simply waiting. God instills in us an innate desire to seek life with him. That desire is awakened at our Baptism and fed throughout our lives in a particular way by the Eucharist and the other sacraments. God looks for our continual transformation, and a receptivity to an on-going adoption of a life lived in harmony with Jesus Christ. Our life here on earth is preparation for our life in heaven. He calls us to resistance of the evil which surrounds us and the sinful tendencies we inherited, that we may be made new in the mode that Jesus has given us.
“I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” Jesus’ message is straight forward and to the point! Love one another! No equivocation! No conditions! Not just love God and love your neighbor – but love as Jesus loved! No qualifiers! Just love one another! At the end of the day this is the greatest need any of us has – to be loved! God made us for love. To love Him, to know Him, and to serve Him! We come to know Him through one another, for we are made in His image and He resides in each of us. We serve Him by serving one another, as He calls us to do in and through the gospels. We need to set aside our pride, our anger, our selfishness, our judgements and our fears. In their place we foster humility, patience, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness and compassion; for these are the places where we find God and His love for us. When we love in this way,
As Vincentians, this is the very essence of who and what we are. We come to those who we find hurting and in need. First and foremost we are called to bring them the love of Christ, making His hope for them evident through the spirit we come in. We look for the presence of God in each person, recognizing that we too have many ‘poverties’ to overcome. Together, we lift one another up glorifying God by our love for each other. How do I truly walk in humility, setting aside pride and judgement that I may bring the hope and love of Christ to those whom I encounter?
Lord Jesus Christ, let me love as you have loved! Let me walk humbly, seeking your face in all I encounter. Let me embrace those who are in so much pain, so much need, so much uncertainty with the loving embrace of your presence, hope and mercy that they may be lifted into your light! If it be your will, allow me to be your vessel of love to another in need this day. We pray all of this in your name. Amen