Image of God – Vincentian Hero’s Serve – Listen, Recognize the Truth – Come to the Table
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Please Pray for each other. I ask for special prayers for the people in Fort Mc Murray Alberta, Canada who are being wiped out by fire, hot weather, no rain and high winds. The entire town has been evacuated and many people, even politicians are homeless. The devastation continues. No one is allowed into the town due to the danger. Residents are traveling to safe places both to the South and North. There is only one road out of town and it has a huge traffic jam. Most are now in safe places. Earlier in the week they had to evacuate the hospital. Please pray.
Image of God – The image of God! This is what it means to be human! We are not just a bunch of cells randomly thrown together by some impersonal forces. Rather, we reflect an eternal God who knew us from before we were made and purposely called us into being. This is why from the beginning of the Society we are taught to see God in those we serve. However, we can carry it a little further and see God in every person. When we see the face of Jesus it is a little hard to be angry at others. The image of God is in all of us, good and bad. We go to serve, because we are called and we bring the Gospel to others. We serve with the love of Jesus and with the Mercy and love of God. This is who we are. We are the image of God because we are called to serve. We strive to be saints and we must treat others with the respect they deserve. The prisoner in his/her cell is the image of God. The alcoholic is the image of God. The dirty, the angry and the discouraged poor who are homeless are the image of God. Know this always and serve God well.
Vincentian Hero’s Serve – There is a tremendous hero inside each of us, a person who can face a crisis and bring to bear inner strength, vitality, courage, and compassion. As you appreciate and develop the heroic qualities within you that protect you and your loved ones from darkness and allow the Spirit to thrive, you can begin to trust even more firmly that there is no need to panic. There is great reason to have faith, hope, mercy, and love. Alberta is in a crisis situation right now. The heat is high and humidity is under 20. We hope to get rain tonight, but I don’t think Fort Mc Murry is getting any rain or cooler temperatures and the wind is shifting to do more damage. There is a huge thrust of donations to Red Cross. We don’t have a Conference there, so at the time we don’t have a Vincentian project. We hear rumblings within southern Albert to help later to re-build and many people both Vincentians and other Christians are looking at this. This would certainly be heroic, however you are always heroes when you serve those who can’t help themselves, so see yourself as Vincentian heroes and always make a difference in the lives of those we serve.
Listen, Recognize the Truth – We have been given the Holy Spirit to recognize the truth. The more enlivened our relationship with the Spirit is, the more we loathe the idea of offending the Lord. The Holy Spirit helps us to hear and recognize the truth. As Vincentians we need to listen without interrupting. Sometimes it is hard to get those we serve to talk about their problems and pain. We need to listen and pray in order to help them better. We need to listen to each other as well. The art of listening somehow seems to be fading. Don’t let it fade from your service. Listen to the Holy Spirit and listen to those in need, not with sympathy, but with empathy. The wisdom of God is contrary to the wisdom of the world. The Holy Spirit’s gift of wisdom helps us to detach from the world and to cherish only what’s heavenly. This wisdom, when used in everyday life, enlivens us in the ways of Christ. We find pleasure in what’s holy. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us understand the needs of the poor and counsel in a way to journey with them always listening to them and helping to lift them from poverty. Know the truth of your service. Sometimes the handouts just keep them in poverty. Stick with it and work with the Holy Spirit. Always listen and learn from the Spirt as you begin to see and hear the real needs clearly.
Come to the Table – When we see these words we think of the Eucharist which is a good thing. Before He died, Jesus called His disciples to come to the table to break bread. He knew the faults of those at the table, but they shared the bread and wine and Jesus understood. In our homes the best times with the family are around the table. We come together to break bread, to share and to let each other know they are loved. It is the best place to be with the family. No cell phones, or tablets, just good conversation and love. When we go forth to serve and help the sheep Jesus places before us, we need to duplicate the dining room table. We sit with those in need and sometimes there is no table, but we must still make it comfortable and loving. Our goal is to let them feel the love and know they are worthy of this love. I have visited a couple of families for many years. They don’t need material things, but they need the love we shared. The children are growing and give many, many hugs on my visits. When I am with them and others, I truly feel it is the love shared around the dining room table. This doesn’t always come easy or right away, but pray and think of Jesus and His last meal and share this love. Pray Always for guidance.