Vincentian Reflections

Vincentian Reflections2019-02-19T18:29:31+00:00
2901, 2020

February 2-Presentation of the Lord

From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

February 2 – Presentation of the Lord

This week we celebrate the Presentation of the Lord.  It is a Feast which used to be called the Purification of Mary because of the prophesy of Simeon.  His prophesy points to the suffering Jesus will endure which leads to the sorrows Mary will endure.  Our reading from Malachi talks of the refiner’s fire which purifies.  These readings – these thoughts are not for the meek or faint of heart.  The suffering which Jesus endured was for the purification of our sons.  He took on that which he did not have to so that we might have our burden lightened.  Mary accepted her sorrows out of obedience to God’s will and acceptance of His Providence.  In the presentation, Jesus and Mary both model for us complete humility, a complete embracing of and submission to the Father’s will, and complete self-sacrifice that the burden for others might be lessened.

As Vincentians, we are called to accept this role in relationship to those in need.  The Letter to the Hebrews says “because he was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.”  We are called to help others through the experiences of our sufferings.  In turn, through their suffering they teach us to embrace acceptance, patience and hope.  How do I use my suffering and my pains to help me to minister to others?  Do I listen to their story that I might share in their pains and learn through their hopes, their fears, and their acceptance?  Do I seek to find and embrace God’s will in all things?

Lord Jesus, purify me of my sinfulness, my selfishness and my pride.  Allow me to take on the suffering of others as Jesus takes on my suffering as his own. Give me the humility and patience of Mary to take all these things into my heart, accepting and trusting in your Divine Providence.   Help me to lessen the burdens of others by graciously accepting their pain as my pain and showing them the light of your love. We pray all of this in your name.  Amen

                                                                               

Deacon MikeP

2101, 2020

January 26-Third Sunday Ordinary Time

From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

January 26 – Third Sunday Ordinary Time

Our readings this week send us a clear message that there is but one purpose, one will, and one leader.  “The lord is my light and salvation!”  Paul tells us  “that there be no divisions among us and that we be united in the same mind and purpose.”  Our ‘calling’ does not belong to us, but to Jesus Christ.  Each of us is called to a unity of purpose – a purpose of loving Christ and reflecting his light out to others!  Through prayer and discernment we come to know the will of God.  Through humility, we submit to that will and seek to set our own agendas aside.  His will calls us to charity for one another, forgiveness of each other and mercy and compassion particularly toward the most vulnerable among us.

As Vincentians, we seek consensus in our decisions because it is not about a ‘vote’ of our personal preferences, but rather about collaboration with one another and with the Spirit to discern God’s will. This only happens when we discern our decisions through prayer.  It comes by seeking and growing in the virtues of charity, humility, simplicity, gentleness and selflessness.  We should have a zeal to seek God’s will above our own.  This is why conference meetings where cases are discussed and discerned in prayerful consideration are essential for our spiritual growth. It is why prayer before, during and after home visits is a must.  Do I seek God’s will in all things or do I seek to impose my will?  Are prayer and discernment at the core of all my actions?  Do I see SVdP as a calling to a way of life, or simply an opportunity to help others?

Lord Jesus, help me to seek out your will above my own, that I may be united in spirit and thought to the broader Vincentian family.  Allow me to set aside divisiveness, to enter into prayer and reflection, that I may allow your Spirit to enter deeply into my very essence guiding my thoughts, my words and my actions.  Through humility, give me a spirit of cooperation, a spirit of forgiveness, and a spirit of mercy and compassion.  May I continually come to reflect your will with greater frequency each and every day. We pray all of this in your name.  Amen

 

Deacon Mike

1301, 2020

January 19-Second Sunday Ordinary Time

From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

January 19 – Second Sunday Ordinary Time

“Behold the Lamb of God!”  Such simple and yet powerful words.  We typically think of a lamb as a meek and innocent animal.  It is the animal that throughout history has been the most popular ‘sacrifice.’  John’s clarion call in this gospel of the true nature of Jesus for us –as our servant and the sacrifice of God for our sinfulness: a sacrifice made that we might benefit – is a stark reminder to each of us about how we should approach others as well.  Jesus did not come from a place of power or judgement – although he clearly could have.  Rather he comes from a place of humility, a place of mercy and compassion, a place of forgiveness and acceptance and a place of encouragement and hope.  In this gospel, Jesus has just finished his forty days in the desert, tempted by Satan.  He overcomes Satan not through displays of power but through continual deference to the will of the Father, through humility, prayer and sacrifice.  He conveys his strength through patience, kindness, love and truth.  Jesus is the Lamb!  We hear that twenty nine times in the Book of Revelations alone.  It is intertwined within the liturgy of our Mass – the great sacrifice of the Lamb at the altar!  His sole motivation was complete agape love!  Through His sacrifice, he draws each of us in, refreshing our souls and renewing our hope simply with the power of truth presented through humility, service and sacrifice!  Love – unabated and unblemished!

As Vincentians, when we minister in service to others in need, do we come as a lamb?  Is there an innocence to what we are about or do we have our own agenda?  Do we stand ready to sacrifice and suffer for others that they might benefit?  Do we serve without judgement or high expectation?  Do we offer ourselves fully and completely without condition or restraint?  ‘Behold the Lamb!! Come follow me!

Lord Jesus, I thank you for your sacrifice for me!  I humble myself before you, asking that you help me embrace sacrifice for others, that through my suffering I may become ever more connected to your cross and they may come to see your presence.  Help me to overcome my judgements and expectations.  Instill in me a spirit of charity and mercy.  Give me the grace to act with kindness and gentleness.  We pray all of this in your name.  Amen

 

Deacon Mike

701, 2020

January 12-Baptism of the Lord

From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

 

January 12 – Baptism of the Lord

 

This week we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord.  A baptism he did not have to have.  And yet he did because it was the will of the Father that he be connected to us in our humanity and we be connected to him.  Through his baptism, he ushered in the hope of the future.  The Spirit descended upon him as He does on us.  In Baptism we are graced with the desire of our faith and the protection and guidance of our Lord.  In Baptism, Jesus claims us and says this is my brother / sister with whom I am well pleased!  In His baptism he models for us the depth of humility that carries an unconditional acceptance of the will of the Father and a commitment to the sacrifices ahead.  He embraces our weaknesses, our fears, our sins as his.  His humility broke the sin of Adam’s pride.   It calls each of us by our baptism to strive for the same humility in our lives.  It calls each of us to follow our Lord and Savior as we embrace the Divine Providence of God.

As Vincentians, we are called to be the beacons of hope to those whom we encounter.  Through our faith and trust in God, we help to instill in others a desire for healing and hope.  When we embrace the challenges of our neighbors in need as our own, we make present to them the love of God.  In humility we are called to walk with them, trusting in each other and in God’s plan for each of us.  Do I embrace my neighbors by showing them my trust in God that they too may come to trust in Him?  Do I bring God into all my visits through prayer – before, during and after – that the Spirit might guide us?

Lord Jesus, I pray that I may get out of the way today and let you lead me where you will.  Let me seek the wisdom of those to whom I minister and share with them the gifts with which you bless me.  Let me witness to your Word Lord through my words, my actions, and my love. Let humility wash over me as it washed over you, and grace me with total trust in your will.  Let the waters of my baptism cleanse me and prepare me that I may be sufficient in service to you.  We pray all of this in your name.

 Amen

 

Deacon Mike