“Peter, do you love me?  ‘Yes Lord, you know that I love you.’  Feed my sheep.”  Jesus shows both his love and mercy to Peter – and to us.  His only real question to us is “Do you love me?”  If we do, then he asks that we care for one another.  He knows that we will stumble and fall in our journey to love him and follow him.  When we do, he patiently waits for us to rise and continue the journey.  Surely if His mercy and forgiveness extends so deeply to those who abandoned him at his time of greatest need and suffering; it extends to us as well.  He does not condemn nor ask for an apology.  He asks only love – the love which he first gives to us.

As Vincentians, we are called to have the same patience, mercy and love.  Especially when our neighbors in need may stumble, we must redouble our efforts to show our love and care for them.  In so doing, we reflect the lights and joy of Christ that they might feel the warm embrace of his unending mercy.  Do I act with patience when things go awry?  Am I compassionate, not condemning, but reaching out even more when I am called to?  Do I humbly seek to lift up those I minister to?

Lord Jesus, I do love you, I love you more than life itself.  Help me to overcome my failings, offering myself completely to you.  Give me courage to always seek your guidance, act according to your will, and offer myself in service only to you;  present in those in need.  Allow me to embrace the privilege of caring for the poor – my lord and master.  Let me be your hands lifting them out of their despair.   We pray all of this in your name.  Amen

Deacon Mike