From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

November 22 – Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

In our gospel this week, Jesus addresses that ultimate question – what separates those who go to heaven from those who don’t?  His message is clear and perhaps not quite what some would expect.  It is about how we care for others that matters most.  His call to us though is deeper than simply a call to charity toward others.  Equally important to the service we offer is the attitude and passion that we come to that service with.  “Whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.”  It is Christ Himself we serve every time we serve the vulnerable.  We are reminded earlier in Matthew that “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve” He taught his disciples to do the same; not to rule over others, but to be their servants.  Jesus calls us to have an attitude of humility, not setting ourselves above others.  We offer service as to a brother.  We are reminded in the first reading to have a passion not just to serve, but to rescue, to find the lost, to bind up the injured, and to heal the sick.  We are to treat those we encounter as our brother Christ himself – with honor, with trust and with love.

These months of the pandemic have highlighted the desperate need of the poor, and those newly impoverished by loss of jobs, businesses and medical bills. Jesus directs us Christians today, even if our resources are limited, to open our hearts wide in prayer, humility and service.

As Vincentians, seeking holiness to bring us closer to God. The readings today speak to the very core of our mission.  We are called in total humility to minister to all those Christ brings before us.  We are called to do more than provide charity – we are called to enter into relationship and friendship.  We are called to embrace their sufferings as our sufferings, welcoming them into our lives as our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We are called to see Christ Himself – someone to be honored, trusted and served.  Doing so makes us imitators of Christ, following what he taught us.  Do I reach out in charity only when it is convenient, or in every instance God places before me?  Am I aware of those who are hurting around me, offering to them the presence of Christ?    Do I offer charity or relationship and friendship?  Do I see Christ standing before me?

Father, grace me with the gift of awareness, that I may recognize when someone is in need.  Help me to never pass an opportunity to be your presence to another, even when it is inconvenient.  Let me serve in humility recognizing with thanksgiving that all I have comes from you that I might freely share my gifts with others. Help me to embrace others as your very presence before me in humility, trust and service.   Let me never hesitate to answer the knock on the door, that I may never miss seeing and serving you.   I pray all of this in your Son’s name.  Amen

Deacon Mike