From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

April 24 – Divine Mercy Sunday

Alleluia, He is Risen!!  As we enter into the season of Easter we are reminded once again of the mercy of God on this, Divine Mercy Sunday.  It can be hard to see the mercy in a society and world that seems beset by chaos though.  Our doubts and fears can paralyze us as we wonder “where is God?  Why does he allow this?”  Like the disciples who struggled to understand, we can sometimes struggle to see beyond the chaos of our lives.  We are called – particularly in times of struggle – to see beyond our fears and recognize the hope of our Lord Jesus.  Jesus is patient with us as he was with Thomas. He understands our doubts and calms us with His words “Peace be with you!”   He calls us past our doubts even in the face of fear, uncertainty and suffering.  He calls us past the suffering of the cross, out of the tomb, and into new life lived in faith, full of hope, and wrapped in his everlasting love and mercy!

Easter is a season of faith and faith is all about belief.  Belief in something greater than us.  Belief especially in the face of adversity and fear.  Belief when all is darkness and there is no reason to believe!  Belief that leads us out of darkness to hope and joy!   We have faith because we have experienced the Love of God in our lives as individuals and as a people. We have faith because we have felt His Love within us at various times in our lives, usually when we least expect it.  God’s mercy is so extensive that we can never be out of reach for his mercy.  His love, His mercy, His hope never ends! “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting!”  He suffered for us that we might see and believe in him.  He pulls us past our doubts and fears that we might testify to him with our lives.  At Easter, Jesus turns on the lights of hope again!

Jesus longs for us to take a step outside of ourselves and our wants, past our doubts, and recognize our need for His Presence in our lives. He calls us as he did the apostles, to minister to those who are hurting.  He calls us past our fears to stand up and proclaim his love, his mercy, his hope!  He calls us to become one with him in new life as children of God.  He calls us to proclaim the ocean of graces he pours out to those who seek his mercy and inexhaustible love for us.  We have faith because Jesus has given us life.

As Vincentians, we minister to those who are hurting and suffering in life. Especially now, we encounter neighbors who have not faced such concerns in the past. As we minister to them and help them to see the hope of tomorrow, we look to grow in holiness by overcoming our own woundedness, fears and prejudices.  We are the wounds of Christ that they may see His love and goodness through us and rejoice in the hope he brings them.  In the strength of their faith, we are reminded of Christ’s call to us to live in faith even when it is difficult.  Together, we say to one another, “Peace be with you!” and we offer the assurance of Christ’s abiding and enduring love and mercy.   God never quits on us – how do we have the same passion for our neighbors in need?  How I am patient with those I minister to, as Christ is patient with me?  How am I merciful to others as He is to me?  How does their faith and woundedness help me to be strengthened in my faith and trust in God?

Lord Jesus, help me to overcome my doubts and fears, trusting always in your goodness, mercy and love.  Allow me to be the wounds of your cross, which help strengthen the faith and hope of others.  Help me to minister with patience and humility, always helping others to see you in all things.   We pray all of this in your name.  Amen

Deacon Mike