From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
July 3– Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Let the peace of Christ control your hearts, let the word of God dwell in you richly.” Jesus calls us in our gospel to bring peace to all those we encounter. We are to be the peacemakers by allowing God’s Word – his truth – to dwell within us so deeply that it controls our hearts in every way. We are called in a special way to be the carriers of peace out to a world beset by violence, hatred and acrimony. It is what Pope Francis refers to as the Joy of the Gospel – a special gift that we should offer to the world that positively impacts people and communities, that unifies and seeks cooperation and compassion; not confrontation and power. It is a peace of comfort and security, kindness and mercy – peace which fosters generosity, cooperation, joy and hope. We should carry it in our minds and in our hearts, seeking always to make sure it is peace we bring into people’s lives rather than turmoil and confrontation and division. It should flow through us like a river overflowing with joy and dripping with hope. For it is Jesus Himself – He who is the source of all peace. It is His compassion and mercy and forgiveness. It is the peace which He won for the world through His passion and His cross – through the defeat of sin and Satan.
As we watch the events of this last week unfold in our country, peace may feel like something that is very far away. We must take care to not let the emotions of the moment overwhelm our call to peace. As one who has been involved in the pro-life movement for most of my adult life, I can certainly attest to the fact that I never expected to see Roe overturned in my lifetime. We have prayed for nearly fifty years for this day when the sanctity of human life would begin to be restored. Now we must answer the question of how well we have prepared for this day. For our work has now just begun. Changing laws is the easy part. Changing hearts and creating a Culture of Life is much more difficult. But this is exactly what Christ calls us to. We must work to insure that opportunities and avenues are opened for women to choose life over death for their unborn children. In many instances, this means providing resources and support – sometimes for extended periods – that help them to transition to places of hope and gratitude in their lives. We must be ready to fill a void that has not had to be filled for the last fifty years.
As Vincentians, we have all seen many times single moms who are but a single event away from total loss of all hope. We need to recognize that many woman who are considering abortion are at a crossroad of despair and fear. We are called to be the peace, the calm, the hope that makes Christ visible to them as they struggle to survive. We need to walk with them in both prayer and action. For those who find themselves on the fringes of hope, we need to be the lifeline that is extended and says to them, “do not be afraid; let the peace of Christ dwell in you richly.” How do I bring peace, comfort and hope to those I minister to? Am I ready to walk long term if need be with young women in despair? How do I help create and foster a Culture of Life?
Lord Jesus, you are my peace! Help me to boast only in your cross. Help me to embrace your cross with passion and zeal. Help me to be an instrument of your peace, bringing comfort, mercy and hope to all I encounter. Help me to embrace and reflect a spirit of friendship that I may be a conduit of your peace. In humility, help me to always seek only your will that I might follow that will with zeal and passion. I pray all of this in your name. Amen