“Stay awake!  For you do not know the time or hour.”  Our readings this week provide us both a clear warning to be prepared for the end time to come.  We should not wait, for we do not know the time or hour.  These readings harken back to first gospel of the year which offered the same warning.   This is also an invitation as well.  An invitation to enter into a relationship with God, but we need to prepare and ’have our lamps properly trimmed.’  Between that first reading of the year and now, our readings have continued the narrative of how we enter fully into relationship with God.  It is important that we listen and respond that we might not be surprised by His coming.

This is what SVdP is about – staying engaged and staying awake.  Daily being aware of the presence of God, the suffering of others (and ourselves) and the grace of God’s mercy working in the midst of that suffering.  It is here – with the vulnerable and the poor – where Jesus took up residence.  It is here where we find holiness.  It is that holiness – on a daily basis – which we seek.  Am I fully invested in my ministry and vocation with SVdP?  Or do I only ‘do SVdP’ a day or two or three a week?   Do I fully embrace my ministry, making it a complete part of who I am or is it ‘an oil lamp’ not fully trimmed?

Father, Infuse my heart with a deep desire to always seek you and please you.  Help me to stay alert; help me to stay engaged; help me to make your constant love for the vulnerable and poor my love as well, that I might always gaze at your compassion and mercy.   Grace me with the virtues of zeal, selflessness and gentleness that I may continually give of myself with passion and kindness to those who are in need.   Connect my suffering to theirs and to yours that it may help me to stay continually awake to your eternal hope. I pray all of this in your Son’s name.  Amen

Deacon Mike