From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

July 26 – Seventeenth Sunday Ordinary Time

Our readings this week raise the question of predestination and priorities in life.  We are living in challenging times right now with the pandemic, social distancing, economic chaos, protests and riots and so much more.  It is easy to lose sight of the fact that God wants goodness and salvation for each one of us.  St. Paul assures us in his letter to the Romans that God has predestined all of us to salvation and glory.  He predestined no one to evil, even though evil seems to surround us at times.  Each of us though, has free will to choose our path and to turn from God. The very next lines in Romans after our second reading ask “What then shall we say to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us?”   God wants us, he continues to call us and place His treasures before us if we will but pick them up.  We are called to find that treasure and pursue it with all our heart – to keep our priorities in clear focus embracing His plan for us in total trust and love, even in the midst of turmoil anguish and suffering.

As Vincentians, we find ourselves confronted by many who are being blinded to the truth of God’s love for them by the suffering and uncertainty they are confronting.  We ask God to give us the wisdom – the wisdom he gave to Solomon – to follow His will for their lives.  We are called to become like Jesus, showing them the presence of God through our patience, our kindness, our generosity and charity – and our humility.  Through prayer, God leads us to answers for our neighbors and ourselves.  Do I trust in God’s will for us?  Do I seek His will through prayer and discernment?  Do I recognize God’s presence, even amidst the chaos of these times?

Father, let me not lose sight of your love for me.  Help me to embrace your will for both myself and those I minister to. Give me the courage to trust in you always.  Let me humbly listen to the pain of my neighbors, offering to them my presence, my patience and my kindness that they may come to see your love for them through me. Let me embrace your destiny for me, recognizing even in the crosses I bear your continual love and protection for me.  I pray all of this in your Son’s name.  Amen

Deacon Mike