From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

 

November 13 – Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

“The day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble; and the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch… But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.”  WOW!  As we come to the end of the liturgical year, our readings paint a picture of the end times for us.  There will be suffering, there will be judgment – but there will also be healing and redemption.  The prophet Malachi (God’s messenger) was speaking to a people about 450 before Christ.  The people of that time were rich from a material perspective, but they had taken on immoral lifestyles.  Religion had become an afterthought.  They didn’t reject God – they just didn’t pay any attention.  Sound familiar?  Our challenge is to pay attention and align our behaviors and attitudes with the truth of Jesus Christ.  We do not know the time or hour, but we do know there will be suffering and chaos.

Some would argue that the end is near.  War in the Ukraine and Putin threatening nuclear destruction, natural disasters around the country devastating lives, COVID remains an ever present threat, and our politics from both the left and the right.  Some suggest that if one side or the other wins, it will be the end.  As I write this, I have no idea the outcome of our elections.  It doesn’t matter.  I have good friends from both sides of the political spectrum in SVDP, in my church community, in my family and in circle of general friends.  No matter the outcome of this election or others, our challenge remains the same – to be witnesses for Christ by imitating both He and his faithful followers – the saints.  We must stand erect and embrace the hope of our faith.  We must work together to care for the weak, the vulnerable and the forgotten that through our witness we might bring them the hope of Christ.

Jesus reminds us that He will be with us and give us wisdom.  In our sufferings, we will find opportunity to witness and bring hope.  We are to be faithful, diligent and persistent.  We should act with the confidence of what is to come, but the wisdom and persistence to recognize and follow truth even in the face of persecution.  Our confidence comes from trust in God and a willingness to accept and embrace the crosses of those challenges which come into our lives. The readings bring out the importance of the dignity of work, both for ourselves and for others.  It is through work and perseverance that we connect to both our crosses and the hope of the future.  Our work is to care for one another, respect one another, and bring the presence of Christ to one another.

As Vincentians, we are witnesses to one another and to those whom we minister to.  Through friendship we lift one another up during times of suffering and stress.  With all that is happening in our world, we are challenged to help more and more people through difficult times.  Christ calls us to be present and give of ourselves that others might have hope.  Our objective should always be to restore dignity and hope by lifting those in need to a better place.  It takes discernment, patience and honesty (simplicity) in some instances to help our neighbors (and ourselves) to understand what is truly needed.  Do I properly discern what is most needed for those whom God brings before me?  Do I approach them in humility, with honesty and patience? Do I give testimony and witness to Christ through the way I live?

Lord Jesus, grace me with patience and perseverance that I may weather the storms in my life. Help   me to trust in your will and accept all challenges before me.  Allow me to be a faithful witness to your truth through the life I live.  Let me never become indifferent to you, but let me always give glory to your name. We pray all of this in your name.  Amen

 

Deacon Mike