Can You Turn water into Wine? – Perfection – Celebrating Life – Leading in Hope
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday April 25, 2014
Dear Vincentian Brothers and Sisters: Thank you for prayers you offer to others. Thank you for being such a wonderful family and saying “Yes to Jesus”. I pray for each of you and your families, your organization in the larger Vincentian family and for all you serve. My heart is overwhelmed with all you do. God loves you so much and I do too. His love is much more important though. Pray the Beatitudes and Matthew 25. God bless your day and week. Amen.
Can You Turn Water into Wine? – Turning water into wine is Grace. In John’s Gospel he teaches us this miracle, which does not make sense to ministry. It is a minor miracle and perhaps unimportant to many and more like a magic trick. It doesn’t address the healing pain of people. We turn water into wine when visiting a prisoner we somehow light up the life of men and women. We do so when God leads us to others in need of his grace. We do so when we believe he is in the Eucharist. We are the water and when we become the wine we are doing His will. Wine becomes the new covenant. Jesus turns the wine into blood, the blood of God’s own Son. We praise God when we serve and our plain water becomes wine. When you see a terrible moment turn into joy or even acceptance and feel the love of God in the situation, your water is turned into wine. Of course we do not physically do this, but believing is our gift of wine. Our miracle of service, faith and the Grace because we say “yes” is turning water into wine.
Perfection – Achieving perfection for most, if not all of us is at the end of our journey to the Kingdom and Eternal Life. It comes in simple things. Our family comes together each Sunday for dinner. Grace before meals is the miracle of our togetherness. We do not alter this practice or as we say, the first course of the meal. When we have strangers, we bless them, when family members are absent we bless them and we bless each other. Part of our perfection is holiness which comes from the Holy Trinity “For God to be good, God can be one. For God to love, God has to be two because love is always a relationship. For God to be supreme joy and happiness, God has to be three.” -Richard of St. Victor. Remember always, your lucky charm or secret to perfection; God forgets, Jesus forgives, Holy Spirit leads us in hope. Lent helps us to get closer as we fast and prepare for Salvation. We are called to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. You are perfect, you are Holy and you are a saint. However, you are a sinner too. Praying and reading scripture gives us a rich diet to achieving perfection as our Father is perfect. We are Holy because of our Baptism and because of the cross and accepting it.
Celebrating Life – Each day is a very special gift. In scripture God pleads with us to wash ourselves clean. We try this daily. In my morning prayers I ask God to bless my touch, my temper and give me love of all on my plate this day. We cannot do this alone! We need the ultimate super Hero God (Father Son and Holy Spirit). We are so lucky to have, “The Lord’s Prayer”, Reconciliation and the Eucharist and so many other gifts. We must humble ourselves in order to be exalted. I liken it to stripping yourself naked before God and dancing freely. Clear away all trappings to hear God’s Word and accept it. A celebration of life is loving all. We come to those in need, in prisons, in their homes, at Church or on the phone. We bring God’s love to all. Jesus commands us to love to the fullest degree. Our love begins with a true devotion which is a love affair with God. Remember Jesus cried out at the hour of His death, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” He too, struggled with doubt and accepted with love. We should also give our struggles to God and follow the path of Jesus in good times and in not so good times. I love the story of a pastor seeing a grubby person coming each day to the alter during lunch and praying. The grubby old man’s words rang out, “I just came by to tell you Lord, how happy I’ve been since we found each other’s friendship, and you took away my sin. I don’t really know how to pray or what to say, but I think about you each day. So, Jesus, this is me just checkin’ in today. Remember to check in with Jesus today and always know he is your friend – a friendship to the end and more. As I say to my husband, “Love forever and a day.” “Never water down your faith in Jesus Christ.” (Pope Francis).
Leading in Hope – It is good to have ambition and even better to have Holy ambition which will lead you to serve in love, peace, justice and joy. This is how we continue to clothe the naked, and welcome the stranger. A great leader is a servant. Sometimes we feel guilt. This is not a bad thing. Well it is, if it takes hold of us. Guilt is another opportunity to make a 911 call to God and actually helps us turn away from God and doing good. Solution to guilt – prayer! Jesus discovered this in the dark of the night at Gethsemane. God is always there, never feel alone. Come out of the darkness and into the light of His love. Lead with the ambitions of God and the examples of Jesus.
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