This week’s readings make it 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 – friendship.

As Vincentians, this is an essential part of who we are.  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.  This essential element of friendship is an important part of our growth in holiness.  Do I seek friendship with my fellow Vincentians?  Do I rejoice with them in their joys and support them in their challenges?

Lord Jesus, instill in us a spirit of friendship.  Through patience and kindness, with great humility, let us seek to embrace our 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