Vincentian Faith brings Joy – Vincentians Works of Mercy – Reaching our Full Potential – Listen to My Son
Vincentian Day of Fast and Prayer – Tuesday March 1, 2016
Vincentian Faith brings Joy – To have faith in Jesus means that we, too, can experience joy even while we suffer and grieve. Compassion is pure action issuing from purity of heart. It is carried along toward others by a force of generosity that is too complete, and too fulfilling for it to worry about what it is going to get in return. Sometimes things are bad and we don’t know what to do. We want to do what is right to those we serve. This is why we pray. Vincentian service is fueled by prayer. God gives us the answers and we just have to follow the advice and joy will follow. Our smiles and genuine concern, not pity for those we serve is God working through us. When we bring this joy to the home of a person who needs hope, the hope comes. We can’t promise things to solve the problem, but we can be there to work on a solution and pray always. We cannot do our work without FAITH. It is the foundation for success in our service. We must always be ready to be present. To have faith in Jesus means that we too, can experience joy, even while we suffer and do not have success, yet. Stay on His side and continue being there planting seeds and God will make them grow. He gave us the Son to bring joy to the poor.
Vincentians Works of Mercy – God works through sacraments, most assuredly. But sacraments are given as sure encounters with grace, not as reducing valves designed to make sure the unbaptized are excluded from God. We should always wear our Mercy, so it can be seen. We are servants of Mercy and continue in love and justice to carry out our calling to be a disciple, serving the lost, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and being there for any need requiring our help. In many places we refrain from calling those in need, clients and although we do file by number, we know them by name. God calls us by name and we should treat others the same. We are called to serve the poor and our name for them is friend or neighbour. So we visit our friend in need or our neighbour in need and we treat them with love and understanding. This is our work of mercy. They need us and we also need them to learn more about the goodness of God and truly what Mercy is. We are not alone. We work together with our Vincentian family and the community. We look for ways to serve better and find solutions. Sometimes we partner to do this. We collaborate with others who have the same goal and together with God, we can make a difference. Sometimes we do not see the end results, but know with God’s help our works of mercy work. There is success. Thanks be to God.
Reaching our Full Potential – We cannot ignore the need to heal from our anger and sense of failure. To ignore this is to turn away from the Holy Spirit. Do not give up hope. Reading Scripture always gives us the answer. As Vincentians we truly turn most often to Matthew. I encourage you to read from Scripture before a home visit and often what I do is place my name in the Scripture. It helps to make it relevant to my service. Read Mathew 5, 6 & 7. The other Gospel relevant to our work is Luke. It is the Gospel of Mercy and during this year of Mercy it is a good book to turn to. We need to pray and read Scripture into our work. Jesus calls us to be a disciple; we follow and are never alone. I know we all want to grow in the Spirit. The question is how badly do you want it? I believe we have to work on this daily. I’ve admitted many times to praying for my tongue daily and sometimes more often. You know the Sermon on the Mount from Mathew 5, 6, & 7. It is a perfect reflection and literal interpretation of turning the law into faith which is fully alive. To ignore our need to heal, especially from anger and forgiveness is to stifle our growth to holiness and to being alive in the Spirit. In answer to God’s call we choose, service to others, humility to bring our love to the deserving and undeserving. It is all God’s calling and He asks us to pray to reach this Full Potential.
Listen to My Son – God calls us to the Son. We are called to hope always and have the Trinity to help and guide us. When we reflect on any spiritual gift it is good to create an image of what it is. When you think of Hope, what do you see? Think about this and reflect. I think most of us relate this to our families, children and spouse or friends. As Vincentians we think of the families, children and individuals we serve. How can we bring them hope? My vision of Hope is the Transfiguration. This is an amazing picture to visualize. It is like no other image and is amazing. I think focusing on the Cross and the love of God in this vision is paramount to our service, especially during Lent. I have a cross in my pocket which I can rub, when I feel I need help. I also have a nail I carry during Lent to remind me of how much I am loved. But it is not just me. Everyone is loved the same, no matter what they do. This is why we dare to bring hope to everyone in need. We can’t judge them, we see Jesus in each one and He is calling us and we must listen. We must bring hope to others. There is no other option. We cannot bring false hope, but we are there to help and serve. We often say we are called to teach them to fish. I am reminded of my fishing days and being taught to fish by my father-in-law who was an expert. The first fish I caught hit him in the face. He was not happy but with patience the lessons continued. I learned that sometimes it takes a long time to learn how to fish. We are called to the Son and God tells us to listen to Him.
Live each day of Lent with the intent of making yourself a better person of love and mercy. Have a great week.