Healing Hands – Beggars for the Poor – Giving a Second Chance – Prayers Make Miracles
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Healing Hands – Vincentians are doing God’s work, by bringing His healing hands to all in need. We receive this gift through the Eucharist. This is why we see and serve Christ in the poor. We become Him, looked on by the Father and guided by the Holy Spirit to serve each person in need. We bring the healing hands, not as doctors, or nurses. We are the healing hands of Jesus. We can bring these healing hands to all in need; prisoners, sick, addicted, homeless, immigrants, and families in great need. When writing this I was reminded of a young man I visited in jail, I touched him and he jumped. I asked him why and he said, “No one ever touches me or makes me feel important and you did.” I told him they were the “healing hands of God” and he really wanted me to pray and teach him. He called me one day and he said he had changed and he knew I was teaching with RCIA and he asked me if he could join. I said “yes” and everyone embraced him with their healing hands. Once the course was finished, he came to be baptized on Holy Saturday at the Easter Vigil. He was glowing. We have full immersion and when the priest dunked him three times, he said, “Father, dunk me again I am a sinner.” I always taught the group of the importance of the Eucharist and told them to never forget their first time, every time they receive the Body and Blood of Christ. After communion, I looked at him and he was truly embraced by Jesus. He started walking slowly and I got up to follow him, worried. I saw him outside kneeling and lifting his arms to God and thanking Him for forgiving him. He went on to convert many others, but he also was in jail many times after.
Beggars for the Poor – The blind Beggar called out, “Jesus Son of David have Pity on me.” All through time the Church and Christian people have cared for the sick, the hungry, the disabled and imprisoned. We all follow the example and words of Jesus. He teaches us the way to serve and He calls us to be servants. Our Patron Saint Vincent de Paul started something very good as an example to all of his care and love of Jesus whom he brought to others and was a beggar for their needs. He inspired Blessed Frederic Ozanam who used the quote, “I would like to embrace the World in a network of Charity.” It is with that wish that Frederic co-founded the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in 1833. He learned to see Jesus in the poor and bring them love and food he received through his begging. His love was for the poor. He treated them as friends and it truly made a difference. When Ozanam died, there were 15,000 Vincentians. Dr. Painchaud brought the first Conference to Canada in 1846 in Quebec. We are celebrating our 170th anniversary with a special book with input from Vincentians across Canada and they are all beggars for the poor. Teaching Frederic how to be a humble beggar was Sister Rosalie Rendu. We continue today in the same manner albeit more modern that the first Vincentians. Instead of the pot of soup and candles for light or wood for the fire, we bring bags of food, pay the electrical and heat bills to make them comfortable. We are beggars for the poor and are proud to beg and listen to the messages of Jesus for the good of all people.
Giving a Second Chance – Mercy is loves’ second chance. When we read Isaiah 53 we realize what Jesus truly did for us, so we can always have a second chance. We are encouraged to do for others what has been done for us. As a Vincentian, I have many stories of people given a second chance. How joyful they become when we lift them from their poverty. We have many refugees and immigrants all looking for a second chance. Their smiles are so large and the ones I have worked with love to be hugged. They are humble and know we are giving them a second chance – sometimes more than once. We receive from God the measure we have given. We are called to serve and we say “Yes” I am here to do your will and give others a second chance. This message also goes for our works with other members of the Vincentian Family. Giving a second chance in a way with some people is forgiving them and giving them mercy which is love. We bring the face of the crucified Jesus to others. Anything can happen with God. We are touched by suffering and healing others, especially their souls. In this Year of Mercy we need to be more visible in our service of love and mercy to our friends in need. Know the spiritual and corporal works of Mercy and give these to Jesus who is whom we serve. All of humanity is not in our churches but Jesus calls us to treat them all the same as they are loved by God just as we are. As Vincentians we serve everyone regardless of race, creed, colour, religion, or state of life. We reach out to all and give second or third chances to those in need.
Prayers Make Miracles – We should read the Gospels often. They truly are prayers and a special gift of knowledge. They give us the answers to so many things we deal with. No prayer ever goes unanswered; sometimes we don’t see the answer or believe the answer. When we pray we must know God wants all that is good for us. Sometimes when we pray, we are dwelling on things we need to solve, especially relationships. God wants you to work it out. When we pray for healing, we do not see the answer right away and then suddenly it is right before us. We must always pray and believe the prayer will be answered, perhaps not today, but it will be answered. We are never the same when we are touched by suffering and healing especially of our souls. In all your faults turn to God in prayer and tell Him you love Him. He loves you, but also wants to hear, you love Him. Sometimes we forget to tell God we love Him because He knows all, pour out our love for our God in three persons. Always pray! We live in a world of quick fixes and sometimes our answers to prayer will be longer than we like. Trust in God and pray His will be done. God loves us and understands our pain. Wait for the miracles, they will come. When you think it is no use, pray anyway and prepare to feel the miracles of our God, who only loves.