Hear His Voice – Love Letters from God – Modeling Jesus – Hoarding is not a Gospel Value
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday July 28, 2015
Dear Vincentian Family: Pray for the desire to experience God’s new life and a willingness to be healed and transformed. Living God, fill us with gratitude for the gift of life itself. Help us avoid clinging to the gifts you so freely give. Make us generous, so we live with the will to offer more life to others. Help us desire the gifts of eternal life here and now, as well as in the world to come. We lift up our priests, deacons, bishops, seminarians, our beloved Pope Francis and all those contemplating religious life. We also pray for everyone in our Vincentian Family. Amen.
Hear His Voice – An attitude of love is easy to maintain as long as we are with friends, and not in traffic, waiting in line, in a hurry, or not feeling well. But Jesus didn’t give us exceptions to the rule of loving others. Even on the cross He prayed for all of us. “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
Our biggest motivation is to be an active listener to everyone. God is an active listener to us. We often can ramble in our prayers, but He continues to listen. We are called to visit those in need and our biggest gift to them is to listen. Listening well will help you read between the lines and serve better. We need to hear God’s voice and be active listeners. You can give charity or you can give loving charity. We come before those in need and see Jesus in their face and give loving charity. We should do this with everyone we encounter; our families, our Vincentian Family and our friends. No matter how tired we are we must always give loving charity. When we make this a part of listening to our Lord, we will learn this is His response. Love one another and allow your actions show your love.
Love Letters from God – Consider Scripture as a collection of love letters from God. The greatest love ever! Scripture gives us the answers, especially if we reflect and pray. We will always get a loving response and it is proven by so many saints throughout history. We read Scripture, we pray and we learn to be a reflection of God’s love. When we contemplate, it is the mirror of God’s love in all of creation and true contemplation lifts us up and takes the focus away from us, turning it to others. All of this is in Scripture, our love letters from God. He teaches us to focus on the kingdom and loving others. We read in the gospel to leave everything behind to bring us closer to Jesus. Listen to the words of Scripture and know the only thing we really need to possess is Our Lord, Jesus. We draw our strength from these love letters and from the Church. When I come back from Church on Sunday or any weekday I feel such support and know our Lord is with me. I draw my strength from the Eucharist, the people who are the Church, our priests, all the sacraments and Trinity who is always there teaching guiding and cheering us on with their love. We have to know how loved we are so we may love and serve others. When we can’t pray, then Jesus goes before the Father, on bended knee and lovingly prays for us. Our Saviour does the praying we are unable to do. The prayers from Jesus for us are not intercessory prayers, they are deep and profound. Hold this in your heart and know there is never an absence of prayer.
Modeling Jesus – When we share our faith, Jesus is our model. He had compassion for the unbeliever. He met people on their own level, and he spoke their language. He also made them think and search for an answer by preaching parables and stories. We know we model Jesus when we do His work. It is not our will, but His will. Jesus welcomed all in need, no matter the need. All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for He himself will say: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Our role is two-fold. We come to those in need as Jesus, but we serve Jesus as well. The injured, the ill, the broken, the confused, the addicted, imprisoned, lonely, the poor managers and all in need are treated with love and served as Jesus was served. We know from Scripture, Matthew 25:40 NIV: “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” This is often the Scripture that forms us in our service as Vincentians. We model Jesus always in our service. Lord, help us to be good stewards of the gifts which you have bestowed upon us. Lead us to those who may need our assistance and please allow us to model you always.
Hoarding is not a Gospel Value –Hoarding is truly not a part of the Gospel. The miracles of the loaves and fish, of multiplying our food are not so much about material abundance as they are about Spiritual mindsets. God provides! When a crisis hits as it does regularly, we do have money and goods to share. What we fail to do is trust in God. If we are in need to help others and our bank is low we pray. We ask our Vincentians to pray and most important, we believe God will provide. My first year as a Vincentian, my parish priest and I were trying to fill Christmas hampers when we ran out of food. He looked at me and said, “Lynn get down on your knees and pray!” I did as I was told. The doorbell rang and Father went to the door. “Oh no someone in need”, I thought. Father came back with money in his hand. It was exactly enough. We then prayed again in thanksgiving. I have never forgotten and so I encourage you to pray always, but most important believe and trust in God. Jesus challenges us, as God has done for all of salvation history, to trust that we will survive or suffer together. When we are together, we live as one body and one spirit, graced by the trust we are all loved, and all worthy of having our basic needs met. Pray, live the Gospel and believe.