Cross & Crown – Eyes of Speech – Family of Servants – Serve with Authority
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast September 9, 2014
Dear Vincentian brothers and sisters: Fall is coming upon us and the business begins again. Do not ever be too busy to pray and reflect. Prayer is what gets us through the tough jobs and brings us joy when we are busy doing God’s will. Pray always for the clergy, our seminarians, Pope Francis and our young people. Pray for members of the Vincentian family. We are one in fighting poverty, one case at a time with the help of God. You are all held in my prayers this week as I head home from my summer retreat to city life and my family and friends. There is an excitement as we return to routine and service. We journey together in different areas, but with the same goal to love and serve those in poverty. Jesus help us. Amen!
Cross & Crown – To follow Jesus and earn the crown, we must also carry the cross. There is no crown without the cross. Sometimes we look for the easy way, but Jesus tells us to pick up our cross and follow Him. It becomes easy and meaningful with Jesus. When we want more, we pray, we serve and we feel the loving touch of Jesus. Always bring your burdens to Him. He wants us to have the crown when our work is done. The next time you meet someone whose cross is so heavy, help to carry the cross and pray as you journey for the soul who is lost. Think of Jesus on each step and journey with love, patience and guidance. When you serve, you are serving Jesus and the person you serve will see Jesus in you. Do not give up. We sometimes have to journey longer to help others bear their crosses. Know it is the right thing and recognize that you are never alone. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are journeying with us and our crosses leading us to the crown.
Eyes of Speech – Think for a minute how Mary felt when she saw her Son suffering and she could not speak. One time I asked my Sunday school children, how Mary communicated with Jesus. She spoke through her eyes, but what did she say? Some responses: “I love you.” “Have strength” but the best was, “Keep on going!” We too, must keep on going. Mary knew the end was near, but watched in agony and deep faith. Her eyes were speaking to Jesus until his death – death on a cross. We too, need to let our eyes speak to those in need. They must speak words of love and hope. Sometimes our eyes tell a different story. We must bring Christ into our eyes, so others may hear the joy of His presence through your eyes. Mary’s eyes shouted love and encouragement to her Son and He heard her eyes. When we visit the prisoners, the hungry, the sick, deprived, confused, frustrated and lonely people, we must make our eyes shout with joy, hope and love. Let them say, “Keep on going, I am with you and we can make it together.”
Family of Servants – We are a family of servants. Part of our service is to lift those we serve to live a good life. We stand for what is holy, just and life giving. Sometimes our job is to lift others from their sinfulness without judging. Read the Gospels and learn how Jesus dealt with sin. We can help lift people to better lives. We have the tools and support. Give those we serve the gift of friendship. God has placed those we serve in our lives for a reason. They are His gift to us and we should always be present and help them in different ways. We must keep trying to heal the sinner and we need the prayers of our Vincentian family to achieve success. We visit in pairs and we pray before the visit and after. We are never alone and success belongs to God. Our job is to be there for support and offer solutions that could change the direction of their lives with Jesus at our side. When we have made every attempt to help to no avail, then we can walk away, but always continue to pray. We count on our Vincentian Family to pray with us. We are a family of servants relying on prayer and God’s presence. We are never alone.
Serve with Authority – The world is full of nice people. If you can’t find one, be one. We pray for the wisdom of Jesus so we may serve with authority. I’ve always found it interesting how Scripture says, Jesus spoke with authority. It came from the Father. Nowhere do we hear of others speaking with authority. I take the challenge of Matthew 15 to serve with authority. We are not Jesus, but we can learn each day from Him and learn to serve with authority. We serve with no expectation. We serve with love. We do so because it is the right thing to do. We always have the Trinity with us and we try to have their love in our hearts when we serve. It is something to think about and pray about. We are the hands and feet of Jesus, serving Jesus. It we don’t know this, there is no authority. The authority belongs to God and we are His servants. People will recognize this when they sense the presence of Jesus.
Pray for each other and those we serve. Pray we make a difference. Celebrate the changes giving thanks to God.
Lynn L’Heureux is Special needs co-coordinator & Advisor of the Society of St Vincent de Paul Calgary Alberta Canada.
Her newsletter is translated into 3 languages, hopefully soon to be 4. They have a group which brings the prayer into China and it is translated into Mandarin and other Chinese dialects.