Baptism – Hold the Net – Blinded by the Lights – Ordinary Time
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday January 20, 2015
Dear Vincentian Family: We the baptized are authentic followers of Jesus if we, in imitation of Him, are God’s humble and suffering servants. We Vincentians have to be what Jesus is. God’s Chosen and sent to serve the poor. We are called and sent in turn, with the Holy Spirit, to evangelize the poor. We go to the door of those in poverty, the dejected and those without hope. We bring the joy and hope with us and serve humbly to lift them from their poverty. Or as St. Vincent de Paul instructs us, regarding the poor, our mission is to preach the Gospel to them, to comfort them, to remedy their spiritual and temporal needs, to assist them ourselves in every way and have others assist them likewise (XII:87). O God, make all the baptized become like Christ and be humble and suffering servants for those in poverty. Amen!
Baptism – And God the Father says of you: When Jesus was baptized and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and the Father said, “You are my beloved Son; with You I am well pleased,”(Mark 1:11) Jesus showed us by example what happens at every person’s baptism. “This is my beloved son/daughter; with him/her I am well pleased!” Baptismal water is the womb of God; He welcomes each person, young or old, male or female. Jesus certainly did not need to be baptized. He was perfect. He is an example for us. He is our Salvation and we through baptism are heirs of His Divinity. Try to remember what baptism means to you. We can’t all remember our baptisms, but we can remember our renewal. Are they words or true pledges of following Jesus? One baptism touched me completely. It was at the Easter vigil. The man was struggling with addictions and all it encompasses, but he loves our Lord and drew many beautiful pictures of his love. He was immersed and he looked up at father and said, “I am such a sinner, dunk me again”. Of course people laughed, but he was not trying to be funny, he was serious. He left the Church after communion and I followed him. He was outside on his knees, and arms lifted to heaven. Tears poured down his cheeks. He said, “I believe my Saviour lives in me and He will never leave”. He hugged me and he continues to journey and struggle, just like the rest of us. He knows he is loved. Do we?
Hold the Net – We are fishers of men. We catch them because of Christ’s love. He casts the net we attract them to His love and He finishes the job. In our discipleship of 2015, do you ever think of yourself as the first ones chosen to follow and serve? We are not meant to evangelize alone. So we belong to a family, our family is Church, Vincentian and loving servants. It is always important to remember, we do not hold the net alone. We are the bait used to catch the men and women who need Jesus, and we sometimes fail. We are not the Saviour, so we must rely on Him to work with us and we cannot give up. Walk with those searching and pray daily. We belong to a joyful family of Vincentians and we work together for the good of all. So cast your net wide and know you will be joyful with the catch.
Blinded by the Lights – St. Paul taught that the only way for you not to recognize God’s existence is if you don’t want to recognize His existence. If someone denies the existence of God, the problem is found in the person, not in God. People do know that there is a God. But sin has caused many of us to become “futile” in our thinking and the light of truth in our minds has been “darkened” to such a degree that we have lost all sense of that which is obvious. The truth is so clear, but sin clouds the mind and blinds us to that which is evident. Healthy relationships nourish us and teach us how to love. Whether these relationships come through family, friends, or a faith-based group, if we seek, we will find. God will always lead us to what we need. Our job is to be open and willing to follow. Follow the light of Jesus, not the world’s lights; however, the Light of the World.
Ordinary Time – Ordinary Time is part of the Liturgical Year that lies outside the seasons of Lent-Easter and Advent-Christmas. In Ordinary Time, the Church celebrates the mystery of Christ not in one specific aspect but in all its aspects. Ordinary time is not ordinary or unimportant. We now begin the journey of Jesus and His teachings. Each day is a celebration and ordinary time is the ordered life of the Church. We continue to be in watchfulness and expectation of the second coming of Christ. The colour is green which is definitely not ordinary. We spread the richness of green to our friends we serve, our families and all we encounter. We follow Christ’s ministry from birth to death and by going to Scripture we learn and understand what we are called to do. Ordinary time gives us the opportunity to learn how we bring the life of Jesus’, birth, death and resurrection into our daily lives as we prepare to heal and serve those in need. Ordinary time is 7 days of Sundays, where we live our Sunday worship and Eucharist each day and bring this to others. Yes, ordinary time is not be dull and mundane it is Christ centered and servant centered. Enjoy every minute of ordinary time.
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.
Visit the archive of her previous posts.