From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

March 15 – Third Sunday in Lent

Our readings this week speak to a constant tension that exists in our relationship with God as we journey from sinfulness through conversion toward complete humility, trust and obedience to His will and plan for us.  The first reading talks about Massah and Meribah, which mean to test and quarrel.  They are a reminder of this tension where the people would put God to the test and quarrel at times with how he cared for them.  We are thankful for the blessings he bestows upon us and readily trust Him when things are good.  But we struggle when things don’t go according to our plan for life, and begin to question anew His care for us.  We need to listen for his voice and guidance in all things, and soften our hearts to accept His will for us.  We need to maintain hope through the difficult times, realizing that He will lift us from our sufferings to ultimate joy.

As Vincentians, with every neighbor in need, we enter into situations where people are challenged to see God’s plan for them.  We become present to them in their time of need just as God is always present to us.  We ask them to trust us and allow us to help them just as God asks us so often to trust him.  Through prayer we discern what God’s will for their situation is.  It can be challenging for them to understand and for us as well.  Do I seek God’s will in difficult situations for neighbors in need AND for myself?  Do I trust that God will be present in both easy and difficult times?  Do I listen for His voice, with an open and loving heart?

Lord Jesus, help my heart not to be hardened.  Give me patience with those I minister to when they struggle with trusting me.  Give me patience to trust in your will, not putting you to the test nor quarrelling with your ways.  Help me to make myself fully present to others that I may be more aware of your continual presence to me.  Grace me with humility to submit fully to your will trusting in your love for me always.  We pray all of this in your name.  Amen