From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

March 14 – Fourth Sunday in Lent (Laetare Sunday)

We are now one year into when the pandemic hit our country full force with shutdowns and isolation in so many ways.  In many ways, and on so many levels, it has been a dark period for each of us.  All of us have suffered loss – loss of health, loss of loved ones, loss of finances, loss of faith, and loss of connectedness.  Each of our journeys have been unique, but they have been joined by the shared suffering and darkness of the year.  Our readings this week though, remind us that God is in control.  At the end of the day – God is in control!  He took the greatest darkness ever and delivered us from it with the sacrifice of His Son on the cross because he so loved the world!

Lent and this past year both carry with them a certain darkness we are all working to get out of.  The darkness of the challenges in our lives, some of which may have spiraled us into the depths of despair.  It is at the lowest moments – when we are weakest and recognize our inabilities to change that which is – that we reach out recognizing that the source of hope, redemption and recovery is God alone.  All solutions come from Him!  Thank God!  For His plans are far superior to ours!  “We are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.”  God is in control and loves us!  God gave his son for us – that we might be united to him in both our pain and our joy!

Life is too difficult to handle alone. We need help. All of us. He doesn’t want us to be in grief. He wants to heal us with His Love. We have Him. We need to trust in Him. Through it all God will take control.  We have to tell ourselves that over and over again.  If only we would allow Him to be our strength, then nothing can defeat us.  Not even the worst cross we could imagine can destroy His Love in our lives.

As Vincentians, we need to move forward with this conviction that it is God alone who can provide both the hope and answers to the challenges of those we meet.  Our good works are a gift from God, belong to God, and should be “clearly seen as done in God!”   Many of our neighbors in need stand at the crossroads of darkness.  Just as we come to see and understand the power and the light of the cross in our lives, we need to walk with them, moving them to the source of all goodness.  In Lent – and on this Laetare weekend – we rejoice as we begin to see the cross from which the power of Christ radiates and shines before us.  Let us humbly walk with our brothers and sisters – helping them through our witness to see the glory, the power and the love of God.

Lord Jesus, I fall at your feet begging your mercy and your help.  In the darkness of despair I call out to you for help.  I look to you on the cross and unite my sorrows to yours, knowing that you are the source of salvation.  I offer myself to you as your humble servant, your hands and feet, as I minister to those whom you bring before me.  They are your gift to me that I may be your gift to them.  Help us to always recognize that it is you alone who has the answers of goodness and hope.  Help us to embrace always, that which you give us. Give us the humility and the courage to trust in you as our strength, our hope and our joy!   We pray all of this in your name.  Amen

Deacon Mike