Vincentian Reflections

Vincentian Reflections2019-02-19T18:29:31+00:00
2105, 2024

May 26 – Most Holy Trinity Sunday

From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

This week we celebrate the Most Holy Trinity – God’s perfection!  We are at the very core of God’s Love. We are made in the image of God, Through the Trinity, God helps to draw us in. In the sign of the cross, the doxology, the creed, we embrace it and make it a part of who we are.  Starting at the very earliest stage – Baptism – we immerse ourselves into the Trinity.  It was once said, “The Sacrament of Baptism drops us not only into water but also into the Trinity and the Trinity takes up residence in us.”  We are called to bring God into our lives.  Especially now, as we struggle with so many challenges in our country.   Through scripture, through our prayers, through our liturgies we are continually drawn into relationship.  He invites us into his very presence – he wants to share his life with us and he wants us to share our lives with him.  Through his miracles, he reminds us of his deep love for us.  And through the sacraments, he graces us beyond belief – especially in the Eucharist –that we may touch his face and yearn for more!  The Trinity and the Eucharist are God’s perfected love calling to us to embrace and reflect that love in the face of chaos, fear and suffering.

As Vincentians, we are called to see God’s love in the Trinity, in the Eucharist and in our neighbors in need.  We are called to set aside our fears as St. Vincent did his. Together we lift up one another and we lift up the poor.  When we do, we see the grace of the Trinity and the very presence of God in those we minister to.  As we minister to those in need, we do so each bringing our unique gifts to complement one another.  When we support and love one another as Vincentians in all that we do, that love and caring translates into more holistic and complete care for our neighbors.  And we provide a model of loving support for them to witness just as the Trinity does for us.  How do we spend time and effort focusing on love for one another as Vincentians, that we may support one another in our ministry?

God our Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit; we bask in the glory and radiance of your love shared with us.  Give me the wisdom and courage to cooperate with my fellow Vincentians in a loving and harmonious fashion that we might extend compassionate love to all those we minister to.  Allow us to join in true friendship driven by a spirit of humility, simplicity, gentleness and selflessness that our actions might effectively reflect the love you share with us.  I pray all of this in your Son’s name.  Amen

1405, 2024

May 19 – Pentecost Sunday

From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

Potential!  That’s what that frightened band of men – the apostles – that’s what they had until that Pentecost so long ago.  The Spirit descended upon them and suddenly this cowardly, frightened group became enabled and emboldened by the Spirit to do all that they were called to do.  Their potential was unlocked and unleashed.  Their fears were overcome!  He gifted the apostles with the Holy Spirit to guide and protect them, and so too He gifts us.  We are reminded on this Pentecost weekend that the presence of the Spirit of God is a fact.  Our Antiphon says “Lord send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.”  We are the carriers of that Spirit.  We are called to be that renewal of the face of the earth.  We are encouraged to trust in the presence of that Spirit that formed the followers of Jesus – that made it possible for them to jump into the whole experience of being church – to realize their full potential.

Sometimes our fears can hold us back from becoming what we could be or from sharing the gifts that God has blessed us with.  Sometimes the differences we perceive in others can stop us from getting to know them. Sometimes our hardness of heart and anger can take from us the peace God wants us to have. He calls us now to trust in Him. We are called to open our hands and our hearts and receive those same gifts God gave Jesus’ disciples. We are called to do the Father’s work. We are called to go make disciples of all nations.  But we need not go far. For it starts here with each of us and in our community, in our home.  When we walk with the Spirit and trust in the Spirit and use our gifts, it is like tongues of fire spreading out and touching all those around us.  When we infect others with the Spirit we begin to build a place where people live together in peace and justice, a place where we see that no one lacks necessities, where we too can be described by the quote “see how they love one another.”  Using the gifts God has given each of us, we honor God and we honor one another.

God is with us – here and now.  He wants to embrace us in His love and have us realize our full potential. The question is whether we resist, or throw ourselves into the Spirit of God and let that Spirit move us and form us and make us what we are supposed to be?  God is here in our midst regardless of what we do or who we are or how we act.  He calls us out of the darkness and into the light.  He fills our hearts with the fire of His love and calls us to be the renewal of the earth.  We need to embrace and realize our potential!

As Vincentians, we renew our commitment to take Christ out into the world, confident that the Spirit is with us and in us.  We are a sent community whom the breath of God has touched, a community of Vincentians called church, sent to bring hope into the midst of despair. In new and creative ways, we bring hope to so many in need.  It may be someone who is hurting financially, emotionally or spiritually – someone who is in need of the presence of Christ in their lives.  We may be the lifeline God is extending to them.  We may make the difference in their lives by how we react.  The Spirit – and our spirituality – must become a part of the very fabric of who we are.   For God has sent His Spirit into our hearts.  Will I submit to God’s will in my life and in the lives of others?  Will I let the Spirit work through me to bring hope to others?  Will I allow my potential – the potential given me by God – to be fully realized during this time of need?

God our Father, thank you for the gift of your presence in our lives through the Holy Spirit who walks with us and the Eucharist – the very Body and Blood of your Son – which nourishes us for the journey each day.  Help me to find ways to be your light shining through the darkness to bring hope to those who are hurting.  Allow me to open myself up that you might use me fully and completely as I minister to others  – helping them to see your Love and compassion through me, that they may recognize the Hope present in their lives and find Faith once again.  Let me always recognize your presence in my life that I might share that very presence out with others.  I pray all of this in your Son’s name.  Amen

Deacon Mike

705, 2024

May 12 – Ascension Sunday

From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

t is time! It is time for the apostles, the disciples, the followers of Christ –for you and I – to step forward and do our part.  As Jesus prepares to Ascend into heaven, God’s plan for the salvation of humanity has reached a turning point.  Soon the followers of Jesus will move from fearful and unsure to bold proclaimers of the Good News!  They are preparing to enter a time of new beginnings with new found confidence and joyful hope.  They move forward trusting always that Jesus has their backs!  This was not easy for them, as many did not want to hear the message they had to deliver.

As we look around today, we are confronted by a world that is often not receptive to our Catholic values.  It is easy to understand the fears the apostles had in confronting what seems to be such a majority of people.  But, we are called as they were, to move forward with confidence and hope, loving one another and trusting always that Jesus has our backs!  He promised us that we would “receive power when the Spirit comes upon us that we may be His witnesses…to the ends of the earth!”  We walk with the Holy Spirit at our side, Jesus in our heart and God as our protector.

Paul says to us in his Letter to the Ephesians, “May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to His call…”   Jesus has finished his work here on earth and now begins to extend the call to each of us to continue the good works begun.  It is our call to make the church come alive again as we continue to recover from the pandemic through the inspiration and guidance of the Spirit.  Jesus tells us in the gospel “go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.”  We do so through our actions even more than through our words.

As Vincentians, we have a calling to lead the way for others who have been shaken by their challenges in life.  Many have had their financial home rocked, and often their physical well-being and health shaken.  Many find themselves in situations they never imagined.  They are in some cases rudderless.  They look to us for a listening ear, compassionate heart and virtual embrace.  Now more than ever, humility, patience and trust in God are essential for us to have.  We need to be their beacon of light on the hillside showing them the way to hope and renewal.  We need to be the reminders of God’s eternal plan and eternal love, for He is with us always!  How do I turn in trust to God, humbly asking for His guidance through prayer to solutions for others?  How do I first listen, hearing and embracing the fears and sufferings of those I minister to, and then guide them to God’s will for them through prayer?  How do I help them to see God’s presence in their lives even when in the face of their suffering?

Lord Jesus, help us to overcome our personal challenges in life with a renewed faith and hope embracing the many blessings you bestow on us.  Let us shout with joy telling all the world of your love for us.  Allow me to minister always in humility, with gentleness and patience that I might respond worthily to your call. Grant that I might be able to effectively convey your hope, your presence, and your love to all I minister to. Allow me to be your instrument of healing helping to usher in new beginnings for those who are hurting.  I pray all of this in your name.  Amen

Deacon Mike

3004, 2024

May 5 – Sixth Sunday of Easter

From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

“Keep my commandment!” Jesus instructs us.  But he is not talking about the Ten Commandments or any kind of check list.  His command is of a higher order. “This I command you, love one another.”  We are all familiar with this command – and we know that Jesus said that this is the greatest commandment – to love God and love your neighbor as yourself.  But what is God’s idea of love versus ours, and how do we fulfill it?

As we come to the end of the Easter season, fear and uncertainty are replaced by hope and confident love – a hope and confident love that is needed more this year than ever!   The significance of Easter is that we have reason for hope.  Hope that is born out of the love of God.  Hope that is born out of the sacrifice of Jesus.  Hope that is made possible through the grace of God and hope that is reachable by loving God and following his commandments.  Our joy is found in the hope given us through the Easter event, a hope that radiates in ordinary day to day living that prompts us and others to conversion, to interest in faith in God, to the possibilities of a new start – a new beginning.  It is from the agape – or sacrificial love of God – that all of this is made possible.  Even in the face of all the challenges the world presents to us.  The wars in Ukraine and the Middle East.  The turmoil on our college campuses.  The secular values, political discord and acrimony in the country.  Indeed, especially in the face of all of this, Easter brings us the HOPE and the JOY of new beginnings!

This is the love each of us is called to – the theological virtue of Love!  The love Jesus had for us and the love our Blessed Mother Mary has for us – a love that has no quit and no end.  May is the month of our Blessed Mother Mary, the Patron Saint of our Country and our Vincentian Society.  We turn to her in a special way for her guidance and counsel.  Her’s is one of unconditional love of Jesus.  Through every aspect of her life she leads us into the heart of Jesus.  We are called in our readings this week to trust in the saving power of Jesus, and to trust in His love and care for us to carry us to new joys, new ways and new hope.

As Vincentians, we lead those we encounter through our love, our trust, and hope to the Lord.  We love God by serving the poor and vulnerable because this is where we most readily find and see Jesus.  We need to embrace one another in the agape love of our Lord.  Confident in God’s love for us, it is important that we begin to re-engage with one another and with our neighbors in need through person to person encounters.  How do I bring the love of Christ to others I engage with?  How do I allow God to light me on fire with His love, mercy and compassion?  How do I keep His commandment with my fellow Vincentians and my neighbors?  How do I move beyond fear and into the light of new hope?

Lord Jesus, we turn to you in confidence, in praise and in thanksgiving!  Draw us from the darkness of fear, uncertainty, and confusion.  Allow us to emerge in confidence embracing the new day you place before us.  Instill in us the confidence and passion of the apostles at Pentecost.  You are my love and my love is totally for you.  Give me the humility to recognize that you are the source of all I have and all I am.  Give me the grace of your gentleness, your patience, and your kindness.  Help me to set my needs and my concerns to the side, trusting that you always care for me, so that I might give myself totally to others in your name.  Let me go with passion, ablaze with your fire, making your love present and visible for all to see.    We pray all of this in your name.  Amen

Deacon Mike

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