Jesus Welcomed Sinners – You are Never Alone.

by | Mar 31, 2014 | Society of St. Vincent de Paul

IMG_20140330_185425Jesus Welcomed Sinners – Living Water – Believe – You are Never Alone – These are the themes of Lynn L’Heureux’s regular feature  “Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday, April 1, 2014”

Dear Vincentian Brothers and sisters:  Jesus calls us and we are either with Him or against Him.  There is no middle ground.  Pray you accept the calling and serve Him with joy. Jesus is God and human, so He knows us and our trials.  He came as a slave and lived in poverty.  It is not a joke, Jesus is the real thing. This is why we serve Christ in all those in need.  He came to us out of love.  He showed us the way.  Thank you for the Cross Jesus and thank you for the greatest love of all.  Stay with me as I try to serve in humility, those you place before me.  Thank you for your priests, religious and seminarians.  Protect and embrace all who come to do your will, especially in the Vincentian Family.  Amen!  Please offer up prayers for all the natural and unknown disasters.  There have been missing planes and crashes, mudslides, severe winter weather and many accidents.

Jesus Welcomed Sinners – Scripture says he ate with sinners and tax collectors.  This may seem humorous to some, but for all the tax collectors today, I apologize.  You are different, but many times still hated.  God be with you.  I am often accused of trusting too much, falling too easily for a story, forgiving too quickly, and caring too much.  My question to these accusations is:  Is there something wrong with me?    I also reflect on an alternative way to approach people and know God wants me to see Him in all I encounter.  My mission statement is to see Christ in everyone and everything.  I’ll be the first to admit, it isn’t easy and I don’t always succeed.  I know I am a sinner and am welcomed by Christ.  It can be saintly to be a sinner, but you must keep trying to do better.  Possessing true humility is accepting, and acknowledging who we are in God’s sight, service and love. So nothing anyone says or does can shake us, or knock us off track of being a true Vincentian.  I also try to focus on the quote, I use which came from my parish priest via my SSVP president, “How much does it cost to serve Christ?”  This question, if asked of yourself or others is a conversation stopper.  Who has the answer?

Living Water – This is one of my all time favorite readings from my very young years.  In John 4, the Samaritan woman comes on the scene.  In my young years both in high school and university, I was a woman’s libber (there were some good ones too) I championed equal pay and quality day care.  Our theme was “Woman at the Well” and yes we read the Scripture each meeting.  Jesus talked to the woman who was a foreigner and married several times.  He told her she could be forgiven, but more importantly the unwritten message is, we can all be forgiven because, “The one who drinks of the water I will give will never be thirsty”(Jn. 4) Even though the Samaritan woman had six husbands she was never
fulfilled. She came to draw water at the well and there met Jesus. In Jesus she discovered not just a Jew, nor even a prophet, she discovered the Lord who quenched her thirst. She left her empty jar, which I always interpreted as leaving her sins. She was a woman evangelizer who proclaimed the good news and brought the village to Him. They believed her story.  She had the power of Jesus’ healing.  Lent is an invitation to discover in the Lord the water that springs up to eternal life. Drink deeply and begin a NEW LIFE.

Believe – For those with cancer now or survivors this word is the ultimate.  You have to believe.  We as Vincentians also have to believe we can make a difference.  Our lives set the example for others to follow.  This will always be a more powerful way of sharing the good news than anything we could say.  When we’re going through tough times, some amount of struggle and grief is to be expected, and we are blessed to have support, as people of faith. We learn to accept the loving arms of Jesus.  Not everyone has this, so we as Vincentians share with them the great love we have received.  It is not always welcomed, but we must believe and love anyway.  We move forward with grace and know God has it covered. We evangelize by example, especially to our children.  We must live what we preach.  Walk the talk!  We can never say one thing and do another, especially with children.  To succeed we must be a true example of God’s life and Christ’s sacrifice, and the power of the Holy Spirit in us. Be the Scripture and the message.  Believe and pray for all we encounter in prisons, homes, shelters, hospitals and on the street.    You with God are their hope.  Believe!

You are Never Alone! – The stronger our Faith – the more we feel the presence of the Trinity – working with us – helping us through the difficult times.  Anything is possible with God.   You can have joy even in the center of your most difficult crisis.  Keep the Faith.  When things are tough the tough keep going.  When things are hopeless faith kicks in and our God keeps us going.  Make a “to do list” when you wake in the morning.  Do it with prayer.  Mine today:  Recognize and count my blessings; be kind to everyone and smile to make someone’s day better.  Let go of what I have no control over.  (Right now it is my health and God is in charge.)  I will listen to my heart as God is there, and I will be productive and calm, (remember I am Irish).  I will breathe deeply and thank God for the breath of pure life.  What is God asking you to do today?  Have you received any messages from Him?