“Stay awake and be ready!  For you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”    Our gospel acclamation captures the warning of the message in our readings this week.  Tragic events over the past weekend in El Paso and Dayton make the reality of that warning both personal and real.  None of us is assured tomorrow.  Our earthly life can be taken at any moment – by violence, by a tragic accident, by an act of nature or by a failure of health.  Suffering and sacrifice are part and parcel of our faith.  Often, like this past weekend, it is difficult for us to make sense of the suffering.  It is faith that allows us to endure all that we must for God.  The faith of Abraham that St. Paul describes in our second reading.  A faith that believes in the hope and promise of God even when that promise is not visible to us.  It is a faith born out of love and trust, girded by humility and acceptance of God’s plan, and fueled by passion and hope for the future.  Faith gives us hope when all us seems to have failed.

As Vincentian’s, each day we are called to grow in holiness and as such to grow in faith.  We are carriers of that faith to all we encounter including one another and those to whom we minister.  Our actions and words become the evidence of God’s presence among us.  More than anything, it is faith, hope and trust which we share with others through the love of Christ.  Do I help others to find hope even in the darkest of times?  Do my actions convey a trust in God’s plan for each of us?  Does my humility convey a willingness to accept all that we are asked to endure?

Lord Jesus, help me to accept suffering as Christ accepted the suffering and pain of my sins.  Give me the humility to accept your will, your plan for me and those around me even when I don’t understand, even when it hurts.  Give me the trust and conviction of Abraham.  Help me to grow in my faith and holiness particularly when times seem dark.  Allow me to see the light of hope to carry me forward.  We pray all of this in your name.  Amen

Deacon Mike