Our readings this week continue the theme of preparation for the end time.  The first reading from the end of the book of Proverbs describes the ideal or ‘worthy’ wife.  She is industrious, charitable and prayerful.  But she goes beyond the basics of her family because she has a dedication to the Lord.  She extends herself to the poor and represents truly virtuous work.  That is the message of the gospel – work is a part of our service to the Lord.  But work that reaches for its full potential.  Our work is an important aspect of our response to God’s offer of grace and salvation to us.  When we respond with virtuous work, we find ourselves living in consistency with our faith life.  Paul tells us in his letter to the Thessalonians that living in light – living in faith – is how preparation for the end time impacts our life right now.  For we recognize that Christ is in our midst now, in the heart and soul of each believer – in the worth and dignity of each human being.  Every human encounter we experience is an opportunity to experience Christ.  We are graced by His presence, prepared by His presence, and live in His presence.

As Vincentians, we extend ourselves to the poor daily that we might have those intimate encounters with Christ.  It is virtuous work that we do when we do it with charity, prayerfully, extending ourselves to the fullness of our potential given to us by Christ’s presence.  Do I take the gifts God graces me with and share them fully, using them to encounter Him ever more deeply in the poor?  Am I willing to extend myself for others as Christ extended himself for me?

Father, give me the courage to love as you loved.  Allow me to use all the gifts you have given to me, humbly realizing that they are your gifts given freely that I might encounter you through their use.  Help me to engage fully with others, prayerfully considering how to extend fully in charity and love.  Let me see your face that I may know your love.   I pray all of this in your Son’s name.  Amen

Deacon Mike