We are all Sinners – Good Christians Know – Why did Jesus Come to Us? – Living for Eternity
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast
We are all Sinners
We as Vincentians know we are forgiven. One of my favourite sayings is: We are journeying to Sainthood and are sinners who seek forgiveness and keep on trying. It is funny how we don’t always look at those we serve in that way. I really believe we must try harder. I know it is not easy sometimes, but it gets easier with prayer and reading Scripture. Christ encountered every type of personality we have and He always forgave. We must forgive and be ready to show a change. This is where systemic change comes in. It can be the simplest of changes including contacting other agencies to help us. Our goal is to lift those we serve up from their poverty. Doing this requires us to learn what systemic change is. It is not one thing. We can learn from Famvin and Vinformation. There is a good deal of learning on our Famvin site and our National SSVP sites as well. This information is available for you to serve those in need, better. I know I often need God’s mercy and we all need God’s mercy especially when we offend. We need to call on Him often. We need to see the riches in others. Lord Jesus, I ask You for the grace of always searching for the riches hidden in other people and to be aware that You always want to rescue us due to Your mercy. Amen.
Good Christians Know
God the Father has given you to Jesus so that Jesus can lead you to heaven. Jesus really gives His Body for us and pours out His Blood to redeem humanity’s sins and to bring us into communion with Him. In Penance, Jesus accepts us with all our limitations, He brings us the mercy of the Father who forgives us and transforms our heart, making it a new heart that can love as He does. We do not come to accept Jesus because Christian morality is challenging; we come to accept the challenge of Christian morality because we have fallen in love with Jesus. – from What Pope Francis Really Said. When I give You, Lord, all my hardships, You comfort me in a special way and grant me the eternal reward! Amen. This is an interesting reflection on Sainthood, I recently read, written by Terry Modica. YOU are a saint. Don’t argue with me, I know you’re a saint, because a saint is anyone who’s either in heaven or on their way to heaven by following Christ. In the Apostle’s Creed we say, “I believe in the communion of saints….” That includes you and me and all those we serve! It’s the whole community of Christ-followers. When we pray for others in need, they may not be Christian, and that should make our prayers for them everlasting. We pray for them to follow our Lord and be Saints. We pray for their health, their families, for employment, coming out of their addictions and to find a job, go to school and whatever the needs are. God has entrusted them to us.
Why did Jesus Come to us?
“I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly.” ~John 10:10b When Jesus reminds us that He came that we might have life; He does so in the context of laying down His own life for our sake. Defending life in our country and even in our faith communities can cause division, fear of judgment and limit our relations with others. Yet Jesus continues to offer abundant life to all, and invites us to be one with Him in receiving, protecting and nurturing life. Proclaiming the “Gospel of Life” is unavoidable if the Good News is to be incarnated in the lives of His disciples. Why not take up the challenge to include some element of the culture of life each Sunday in your parish, and whenever possible in your daily life? To be consistent with “the Gospel of Life,” we need to do it in a way that inspires unity, and dissipates fear and judgment. All of us, ordained and lay, are called to open others to the kind of relationships that make discipleship truly life-giving. Each week, you will find here suggestions for a homily, a prayer of the faithful or an insight which can be used to foster the abundant life that Jesus came to bring us. These suggestions can also be easily adapted for family and personal prayer, or for presentations when participating with other groups or organizations. Every parish and each of us individually, are invited to make Christ’s life abundant, relevant and approachable for all.
Living for Eternity
When we live for eternity, eternal life starts now. It is a difficult thing to know the God of eternity and then to live our lives in this time and place, to face suffering and the confusion of not knowing all of the mystery. In Maccabees, we see the conviction of the martyrs, who miraculously come to believe in the resurrection even before the coming of Jesus. In Paul’s letter, we see the early Christians making a move from believing that Jesus is returning imminently to a more prolonged trust that God will direct us for as long as we live. In the Gospel, the Sadducees wrestle with how eternal life will be both a continuation of and a break from reality as we know it. It’s kind of mindboggling. Here’s what we know: when we choose life in God now, our eternal life begins. Even when we face suffering, even when evil surrounds us, God is working out heaven on earth, and we can be a part of it with “every good work and word.” Love is the answer, on earth and in heaven, and we do not need to worry. We live as His children! We already know we are sinners and yet God still loves us. He loves those we serve and He loves that we see His Son Jesus in every person we serve. We pray for forgiveness for those in need, but most of all for ourselves. We do become very close to many of the families we serve. I generally like to see God’s hand in this. It truly makes me feel like He is helping. He keeps me going. We have many conversations about some of the families I am involved with. I don’t know why I call on Him so much He is always there. It gives me comfort to know we visit our friends His other children. I feel a great change in many we serve, but I also acknowledge there are many that need more help. I live knowing God is always there and He gives me confidence.