Truly Humble – God Gives Life – Common Good – Be a Beggar
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday February 3rd, 2015
Dear Vincentian Family: We must always pray for each other and for our friends. I have made a dear friend about 4 years ago. She lives in USA and I have only met her through emails and a video and many pictures. She was featured on ABC news for raising money and distributing Christmas sacks to the children in the hospital. She spent many a day in the hospital and as of today is in the hospital and hopefully only for a day. I am asking you to pray for Marisol who has had a transplant and now is back in the hospital due to infection and a virus. Her mom has asked for prayers. I cannot imagine the journey they have been through and all she asks for is prayer. Please pray with me. May God continue to bless you for your faithfulness and service. Amen!
Truly Humble – When we have joy in the hour of humiliation, we are truly humble after the heart of Jesus. As Vincentians we create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside. We have to trust in God as our developer and leader. Humility is not easy. You know how time flies and flies even faster with each year you add on. The good news here is we have control over these things. I have a little poster at my desk which reads, “You will never have time, your must make it!” We should never be too busy to celebrate, pray and seek the humble heart of Jesus. Time does fly and we seem to be the pilot. We should give control to God and we can be the co-pilot. Serve in humble love. Pray in humble sincerity and seek the direction, guidance and leadership of the Trinity. All credit belongs to God. We are called, we serve and we praise Him as we continue to fish for Him in humility.
God Gives Life – God offers us life when we reject false prophecy. Social media, constant access to technology, advertising … we live in a noisy world, where everyone thinks we are entitled to their opinions. It can be tempting to read every article, follow every link, and look for opinions that make us feel justified in our own thinking. In the first reading, Moses promises the people that God will send a trustworthy voice after him, so that the people will not be tempted by the false prophets around them. Last Sunday in the Gospel of Mark 1:21-28 Jesus drives out an evil spirit, and the people are impressed by Jesus’ authority: that His words bring healing and life. There is a lot of noise in our culture, vying for our devotion, time, attention and money, but the life God wills for us brings freedom in the midst of noise. We need to pay attention to the still, small voice in us, and to the teachers, preachers and prophets whose messages offer us the peace, freedom and joy of Christ. Paul’s words in Corinthians 7:34-35 are helpful in discerning: “I say this for your own benefit, not to put any restraint on you, but to promote good order and unhindered devotion to the Lord.” Listen to those whose words are offered to you freely without strings attached, and that you speak the same way.
Common Good – In a lecture by Cardinal Marx he spoke about how society and the Church both share the responsibility for holding up freedom and the common good. This is a challenge for all of us to seek common good for all people, all the time. Common good is rooted in the gospel in so many ways. Of course we interpret common good in many ways. Think about your common good and the Gospel you turn to for it. Mine is always the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew. The beatitudes are a way to live in love with the world and securing the common good. We can do this with the love of God. God’s love is the power we pray for and it is for the common good, in our service, of treating people we meet each day. To love like God there are no conditions – unconditional love is what we need for the common good. We are truly loved by God. He loved us first and it never ends. He doesn’t know how to un-love. The magic and goodness happens when we accept God’s love and share it with others. Have you ever felt unloved? It hurts. I love you, God loves you. You are always with love, so spread it around for the common good.
Be a Beggar – Speaking to young people in Manila, and commenting on the reading from the Gospel about the young man who walks away sad, the Holy Father said this: “You still lack one thing. Become a beggar!” As Vincentians we are beggars for the poor. Sometimes we forget it is our calling. We work and beg to help them have a better life. Hear the words of Vincent and Ozanam. To learn how to beg; to learn how to receive with humility; to learn to be evangelized by the poor, by those we serve. Have I learned how to beg? This certainly has the makings of an examination of conscience for Vincentians of all kinds. Learn from the poor at each visit. Will we walk away humble and renewed. We are beggars for the poor, we serve, we learn and we do not judge.