From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

February 23 – Seventh Sunday Ordinary Time

Our first reading this week kind of sets the table for us.  It comes from Leviticus which is a very important book from the Old Testament but a seldom read book in our lectionary cycle.  You could think of it as a book of rules for conduct by God’s people.  But it is truly more than that.  It is a handbook on holiness – a guide for living a life in accordance with God’s will for his people.  The quoted section really summarizes the message of all of Leviticus.  God calls us to holiness.  Not holy behavior or practices, but holiness as in being like God himself.  “Be holy, for I the Lord, your God am holy.”  We are called to nothing less than likeness to God. In our second reading Paul asks us the question – and reminds us, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells within you?”  We are a temple of God, a temple into which we place God every time we come to the altar and receive the Eucharist.  God gave us the Eucharist that we might take him in and become more like him.  We are called to bring his light and his hope to the world.  Our gospel concludes our readings saying “Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Nothing like a high bar to shoot for!!  But as Vincentians, this is exactly what we seek.  To grow in holiness and to become perfect like our heavenly Father.  How do we achieve that?  By letting His light and His image shine through every word and action that we undertake.  The question we should ask ourselves every day and after every visit – did I love as Jesus would have?  Did I embrace “Father forgive them for they know not what they do?”  Did I love as Jesus loved?

Lord Jesus, allow your light to shine through me.  Help me to embrace all that you are.  Help me to let go of my prejudices, my fears, and my imperfections that I might strive to be perfect.  Grace me with patience, humility, zeal, gentleness and mercy that my every action and word may be infused with your Eucharistic love.    We pray all of this in your name.  Amen


Deacon Mike