From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

“Call no one on earth your Father; you have but one Father in heaven…you have but one master, the Christ!” Our readings this weekend go to the very heart of all the virtues – the virtue of humility.  Our motivation for all that we do and say counts – and our motivation should always be to love and serve God above all else.   We need to recognize there is but one Father – one source of truth.  Sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of what the liturgy is about.  We see in non-Catholic faiths – the phenomenon of ‘superstars.’  Billy Graham, Joel Osteen, Robert Schuller, Jerry Falwell, Jim Bakker, and so many others.  The service and their church become about the personality and the show.  But Jesus is telling us – do not allow the personality to become the focus.  Don’t allow our motivation to become the worship of some personality, our own glory, or anything other than to love and serve God above all else. When we do, then we feed our pride and allow that deadliest of sin into our lives.  It can happen in the Catholic Church just as well when the priest, the music, the décor or the socials become our focus.

When it comes to practicing our faith, and when it comes to the liturgy, God is and must be the show.  God is the sole reason we go to church.  Church is not about us.  It is not about how holy we are. It is not about what we get out of it – it is about what we put into it.   It is about God and giving him glory and honor.  It is about his son who sacrificed all for us and it is about being joined to him through the Eucharist that we might gain the strength to live out his word.  It is about coming to the banquet ready and willing to be fed.  And when we do that when we fully open ourselves to his love, he will grace us with goodness and love – he graces us with his son Jesus Christ, who dwells within us.  Through the Eucharist, he comes to us and dwells in us and gives us the ability to conquer those things within our lives that hold us back from living as he taught us.   It is not a single priest or personality who brings the liturgy before 1.3 billion Catholic people around the world that we might join together with one voice giving glory to God.  It is only through the one source of truth, the Father, and the sacrifice of the Son who humbled himself on the cross

God is calling us ever more to humility, to love of him and others, to obedience, to prayer and to service.  He calls us to be authentic – to take off our masks, to stop pretending, to acknowledge to ourselves and to God those obstacles which are holding us back, and to start redoubling our efforts to love and serve the Lord.  Through our liturgy we are fed that we might go out and feed others.  Recognizing the one source of truth, let us follow the path he has shown us that we might join in his eternal banquet.

As Vincentians, humility is our greatest virtue.  Vincent calls us to seek growth in holiness through service to the poor.  The motivation for that service to the poor needs to always be born out of our love for God and desire to serve him.  Our love of neighbor must first be about our love of God.  We must continually remind ourselves that everything we do is a grace from God and is for His glory.  Do we forget sometimes that it is only through God’s grace that we are able to do anything?

Father, bathe me in humility that I may never lose sight of your love for me and my love for you.  Help me always to focus only on serving and loving you.  Each day Father, a little more of you and a little less of me.  Let my pride diminish and your presence increase.   I pray all of this in your Son’s name.  Amen

Deacon Mike