Jesus is on a mission and not everyone is happy with what he has to say. He is heading toward his final destiny on earth. Along the way challenges will come for both him and his followers. Many follow Jesus when things are good but fall away when times get difficult. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Galatians that our ‘freedom’ in Christ also calls us to be focused in our behaviors. We must be mindful of the challenges that are to come staying true to our faith and Christ’s call to us.
As Vincentians, we too can sometimes lose our focus, forgetting that we must always serve one another through love as Paul tell us. We lose sight of Jesus as the source of all goodness. We can forget the importance of seeking His will through our prayer for both ourselves and our neighbors. We must be guided by the Spirit in all that we do. Do I stay faithful to God’s will in all situations, even when challenges occur? Are prayer, humility and truth the cornerstones of my ministry each and every day? Do I help to illuminate God’s presence to my neighbors in need even when it is difficult to see?
Lord Jesus, you are my inheritance. Help me always to listen for your will, following where you may lead me. Grant that I may never waiver in my desire for prayer – constant communication – with you. Allow me to be a true messenger of your love through both my words and deeds. Lift me up when challenges come that a may always focus my gaze only on you. I pray all of this in your name. Amen
Do you believe in miracles? This week we celebrate the greatest miracle of all time – when Jesus makes himself present to us through the transformation of bread and wine into his Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, to be with us in the most intimate way. This miracle happens every time we go to mass, and so often we look right past it. Jesus uses miracles to reveal his divine power to us and to show his infinite mercy. While this miracle tops them all, there certainly are other miracles which happen in our lives and the lives of others. Some are big – perhaps a healing of amazing proportions – and some are small. The question is, ‘Are we open to seeing the miraculous graces God bestows in our lives or the lives of others?’
As Vincentians, we should continually pray for God’s mercy and intervention into the lives of those we minister to, those we serve with, and those who are in need (including ourselves). We bring hope to those we serve precisely because of God’s mercy. We should be bastions of that hope understanding that through persistence in prayer, submission of will and faithfulness to our Lord, all things are possible. We need to keep our eyes open to see the moments when God’s mercy graces a situation with miraculous intervention, whether large or small. We should rejoice in those moments and give praise and glory to God. Do we take the time to see and appreciate the grace of God in all situations?
God, your Son revealed to us your glory and mercy through the use of miracles that we might see and believe. He comes to us through the miracle of the Eucharist. We pray that your mercy may be revealed to us and graced upon those who are in despair. Intercede that healing may come to those who are suffering and that your glory may be made known to them. Help me to be aware of your miraculous presence in the work we do. I pray all of this in your Son’s name. Amen
This week we celebrate the mystery of the Trinity – the union of three persons in one. Father, Son and Holy Spirit all working together in total harmony. Each compliments the others. The three are inextricably linked. One does not act independent of the other two. Total alignment. St. Catherine Sienna says “The Father is the table. The Son is the food and the Spirit dwells within us.” The Spirit, without the Father and Son would have no purpose. The Spirit is the outpouring of love from the Father and the Son.
As Vincentians, we too have a trinity we embrace tightly along with the Holy Trinity. It is the Essential Elements of Spirituality, Friendship and Service. These three are also inextricably linked. Our spirituality provides a foundation firmly grounded in God’s love for us. Friendship gives us community and support which helps us to live out our spirituality through practical growth in our Vincentian Virtues. Service is the outpouring of love from our Spirituality and Friendship. Without our spirituality and Vincentian friendship, our service would have no purpose. Do I focus on growing in holiness and connecting in friendship? Is my service a consequence of my spirituality and friendship?
Lord Jesus, the unity, harmony and unconditional love of the Trinity is what I seek. Help me to grow in such love for my fellow Vincentians and for those to whom I minister. Grace me that my ministry may become a reflection of the Trinity. Help me to grow in holiness, in true and complete friendship and in compassionate caring for others. Grant that the service I provide may be an outpouring from my spirituality and friendship. I pray all of this in your name. Amen
Potential blossoms into passionate performance!! Jesus has taught the apostles, he has given them both the example of his life as well as experiences in ministry, he has given them the plan for the future, and now he has equipped them with the inspiration and confidence of the Holy Spirit. They have been emboldened to take all that Jesus has given them, and they have gone out as He instructed them with confidence and passion.
As Vincentians, we have been gifted with the instruction and guidance of Vincent and Frederic. They have given us the Rule, the Manual, the Society, and the example of their lives to form us as Vincentians. They have given us the plan to grow in holiness and serve our neighbors in need. And we have been gifted and emblazoned with the Holy Spirit to walk with us as we journey forward. Do I accept the gifts that have been graced upon me by God? Do I embrace the ministry as a Vincentian being guided in all ways by the Rule and manual? Do I go out to my neighbors with confidence in God’s Providence and the presence of the Spirit the guide me? Do I realize my potential with passionate zeal emboldened by God’s presence in my life?
Lord Jesus, you have blessed me with the Spirit as my guide, my advocate, my protector, and my strength. Help me to embrace the Spirit in my life and ministry. Help me to recognize the gifts and talents you have given to me that I may use them to the glory of your name. Let me be your vessel to bring the Good News to all those I meet, that they may come to know you and love you, and find their hope in you. I pray all of this in your name. Amen