This is my Body – People of the Towel & Water – Accept Christ’s Forgiveness – Looking for Life
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday April 7, 2015
Dear Vincentian Family: Pray for eyes to see new life rising in all places. Risen Jesus, shed the scales from our eyes, grown weary at the Cross and impatient in suffering. When we have become resigned to dying, shake us awake to your victory over the grave. Transform us so we can come to the tomb, looking for the Resurrection. We pray to the Lord. Amen!
This is my Body – The Holy Thursday liturgy focuses on the body of Christ. The washed feet belong to the body of Christ. The blessed bread actually becomes the Body of Christ. It is offered to all with the simple words: “The Body of Christ.” We not only receive the Body of Christ; we are called the body of Christ. As Vincentians we serve Him and His body when we visit those in need. We serve His broken and confused body in disasters, when visiting prisoners, in sitting with the lonely and down and out, and in those who are sick or suffer addictions. When we serve, no matter how horrific things seem, we are serving Christ and it is good to think of the cross and know Christ’s tortured body. We are called to serve and be present to Christ’s body in everyone He places before us. Your short prayer can be, “This is my Body!” He gives to us because He loves us and wants us to love and serve His body in others.
People of the Towel & Water – This was our National Theme in Canada a few years ago. It has always been my favorite. Life requires us to wash and be washed. I think of it as I visit those in need. And on a couple of occasions we have had to wash the feet and it wasn’t Holy Thursday. I think the feeling of washing the feet is servanthood. We are servants for all in need. When I see the pictures of Pope Francis washing and kissing the feet of the prisoners and my own parish priests who washes the feet on Holy Thursday of the RCIA and kisses them, I am humbled. When we returned home from Holy Thursday Mass, Tony (my husband) and I washed each other’s feet. It is truly humbling and a loving act. Be a true servant to others. Be a person of the towel and water. We often need the towel to wipe away tears and the water to cleanse the hearts and souls. Be there in every way as Christ was. Help Him today to continue to serve everyone in need and bring them His love and hope. God is very pleased with you – This is why He gave us His Son. “I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly.” ~John 10:10b
Accept Christ’s Forgiveness – He loves us even to dying for us. It is hard to believe we are forgiven for everything, not matter how bad. When we go to Him and confess, He is ready with a smile, a hug and forgiveness. He always forgives; we just have to ask and try to stay clean. We have trouble accepting God’s love. He loves us and He thinks we are beautiful. We seem to not accept this concept of the Father’s love. We dismiss His plans sometimes for us and become a little selfish. We can’t see our beauty, even when others can. We become a little blind of God’s plan for us. Selfishness blinds us to the possibility that God might have a better idea. I had two visits yesterday, one new and one long term. The first lady was truly lovely and I told her so. She was shocked; she did not know her beauty. So I told her God thought she was beautiful and important. This made her day. The smile was so great you could see the face of God. Next is a long term visit which was a little tough. This lady has so many problems. Most of us would totally collapse if we were going through even half of what she is going through. In order to help her I had to lay down some ground rules to help her fight her debt. I pray so much and somehow I was given the right words. We had such a long visit and I told her how much I loved her and God loved her. She truly felt abandoned and then began to smile. She told me she was returning to prayer and good things were happening. Accepting and listening to God is always a good thing. Someone asked me how I felt. Do you know? Well I was so thankful He was with me on both visits. I felt and still feel great. God is good – all the time.
Looking for Life – On Easter morning, just outside the tomb, Jesus asks a grieving Mary Magdalene, “Whom are you looking for?” She cannot see Him because she is looking for a dead man, laid in a tomb. How often are we guilty of looking for the dead among the dead? We should focus on life and for the next 48 days until Pentecost; ask yourself, “Am I looking for the Risen Christ?” Is He is here? Have you seen Him today? Write what you see in your journal; discuss it with your children. Help yourself and others to discover the Risen Christ in one another, and in those in our midst. When you practice looking for the Risen Christ each day it is like raising life out of death. We need to take our shades off and witness God in all things and of course especially in those we serve. They are not always the cleanest or most satisfying people, but God has given them to us, see the Risen Christ in them and let God be the judge.
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.