From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

“Do not be afraid; just have faith!”  Over the past few weeks we have heard a lot about faith, but this week we find Jesus calling Jairus – and us – to have faith even in the face of death.  How can you have faith when your worst fears are realized – when any possibility for hope appears to have vanished?  Fear!  Fear is real and it is debilitating.  Fear will destroy our capacity for faith – if we let it.

Over the past few years we have learned a great deal about fear.  I dare say each of us was confronted to some degree by the fear of COVID 19 in our lives.  First by the virus itself and the many unknown aspects of it. Then by its true consequences:  the loss of a loved one; the loss of a job or income.  The fear of connecting with others; and the fear of even going to church. Now many deal with the unknown aspects of long covid. Jesus tells us though that fear is useless.  The cure is to come in total humility, placing ourselves fully at the feet of Christ, with patience and great prayer, in total faith and total trust, praising God who rescues us. Hear the words of our Psalm, “I will praise you Lord, for you have rescued me.”  God rescues us – brings hope to us when there appears to be none.  Our first reading reminds us “God did not make death.”  This was brought on by the actions of man.  Sin, pain, sickness and death are on us.  But God rescues us when we have faith.  When all else fails us, we must go to the Lord in faith as Jairus did and as the woman with hemorrhages did.

When we set aside the fear, and look for God – trusting that he is there – waiting in faith – our faith can generate new life and new joy.   Through our suffering God opens doorways to possibilities.  He is victorious over death, over pain, over evil.  Through our suffering, when we pick up our crosses laid before us – whatever they may be – we become connected to the Cross Christ bore for us all – and we too find victory – victory rooted in the hope of tomorrow – the hope of everlasting life – the hope of Jesus.  Part of the mystery of our suffering is that we need to be patient with the pain.  When fear is set aside – our faith can generate new life.  God can turn the night into day.  We may not understand the present, but we can take heart in the hope of the future.

As Vincentians, we need to continually remember that it is not our works, but the work of the Lord which brings healing and wholeness to those in need.  We need to recognize the fear which can paralyze our neighbors into inaction – the same fear which can paralyzed many of us when faced with crisis in our lives. We need to help them past their fears and into the hope of our Lord.   We are called to come before the Lord in true humility, seeking His guidance and will in prayer and with patience that those in pain and fear may find comfort and hope.  We need to recognize that no situation is beyond God’s touch.  We need to be open to go where He leads us in all situations.  How do I go to the Lord in total and complete humility recognizing that all is from Him?  How do I seek His will in prayer and discernment to overcome my fears and the fears of my neighbors?  Do I have faith that He will provide what is needed when it is needed?

Lord Jesus, help my faith that I may trust and believe in you always!  Help me to humbly bring all situations before you, prayerfully seeking your will for me and for those I minister to in your name.  Let me be as Jairus and the woman – trusting fully and completely in your presence, your goodness, your mercy and your will.  Give me the grace to set my fears aside, and to help others to move beyond theirs trusting completely in you.  We pray all of this in your name.  Amen