From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

July 18 – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sometimes one of the hardest things for any of us to do is to simply be.   We get so busy with doing.  We get wrapped up in the importance of our taking care of things. We can lose sight of the source of all the good things we do as we start to embrace our own self-importance.  This week, Jesus reminds us of the importance of stopping the doing from time to time so we can reflect on being.

Our gospel picks up this week as the apostles have returned from their mission of good works and healings.  It is very easy to focus on Jesus as the good shepherd being moved with pity to care for his flock.  Indeed, that is a central part of the message.  But look closely at the beginning of the gospel.  “The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught.  He said to them, “come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile.””  He is teaching them the importance of accountability as well as the need to rest with one another in friendship.  In so doing, they are reminded also of the source of their powers.  We cannot be effective or successful alone!  Only by working with one another in humility, reflecting always on God’s will, can we be true servants of our Lord.

As Vincentians, this is an essential part of who we are.  Especially as the need has increased, we become ever more wrapped up in our ‘good works.’  There seems to be no time for us to stop for a moment even.  We also find ourselves facing our own challenges in these post pandemic times.  We can find our good works laced with tension and disagreement.  And Jesus says to us “come away…and rest awhile.”  We come together at our conference meetings every other week to report on our activities and to discern what we have learned from our encounters with those in need.  Most importantly, we come together in friendship, sharing with one another in the spirit of Jesus with his apostles. We take time to rest and reflect with one another in friendship. This essential element of friendship is an important part of our growth in holiness.  How do I seek friendship with my fellow Vincentians?  How do I rejoice with them in their joys and support them in their challenges?  How do I take the time to rest, recharge and refocus on my ministry in service to Jesus?

Lord Jesus, instill in me a spirit of friendship.  Through patience and kindness, with great humility, let me seek to embrace my fellow Vincentians in brotherly and sisterly love.  Let us lift one another up in our shared vocation, that we might always see your presence both in those we serve and in one another.  We pray all of this in your name.  Amen

Deacon Mike