I Am a Sinner – Celebrate the Kingdom – God’s Plan for Us… Such are the topics for Lynn L’Heureux’s weekly reflection
Dear Vincentian Brothers and Sisters. Pray always for Peace and remember to also pray for your enemy. God will heal their hearts and change their thoughts if we pray. Remember to pray for our Vincentian Family and all priests, bishops and all who are called to serve our Lord.
I Am a Sinner – God knows who we are. We can pull the wool over the eyes of others, but not Our Lord. If we want to be a saint we have to acknowledge we are sinners. We of course have to seek forgiveness for our sins and do penance. We also need to pray every day to forgive others and ourselves for our sinfulness. “Who are you?” This was asked of our Pope some time ago by one of the journalists. And what he responded has always caught me off guard. He was asked by a journalist: “Who are you? Who is Pope Francis?” And Pope Francis had a very simple response – “I am a sinner. I am a sinner.” This has always stuck in my mind. I recognize that when I go to visit those in need and squash the temptation to judge. When you read the lives of the Saints, they too are sinners. We must keep trying to be better. Pope Francis thinks like Jesus and we must do so also. We already know we must serve like Him; this is just a step further. We are all sinners without exception. We start by recognizing ourselves as sinners and then we seek forgiveness and try to change ourselves. In our common humanity we are indeed sinners and we stand before our Lord, Saviour and King and ask for forgiveness. He gives us His Kingdom of truth and welcomes us as a sinner. This is not a one shot deal but ongoing. Remember that free will thing it is always with us, so we are human and will be forgiven forever.
Celebrate the Kingdom – Where is the Kingdom? We desperately need to know and feel the Kingdom today in these times of hate and prejudices and violence. The Kingdom is in us. Thy Kingdom come is a request to make us better. We are the ones to spread the Kingdom. Repair the hate and violence in the world and in our own land. The Kingdom starts with us. We are the Kingdom and we are called to serve and heal others. Find our humility gene and make it the powerful one, filled with love and peace for all. It won’t happen immediately, we have to pray and practice and we know it is hard to be humble. We are sinners saved by God’s love. We should always be up close and personal in our prayer and we can honestly say, “Lord God I am a sinner. Thank you for all you have given me. Thank you for your love and your Son who died for us. Thank you for your Grace, the Holy Spirit the Sunday Eucharist and please give me humility. I acknowledge I am a sinner but your love and guidance will keep me humble and loving. Help me along my path and allow me to shower others with kindness always. We will become a part of your Kingdom, Lord. It will become a kingdom of love forgiveness, peace, justice and joy. You Lord can make our Kingdom filled with hope for others and to serve with all the love you have given us. We are servants of the Kingdom, servants of love. We celebrate the Kingdom.
God’s Plan for Us – God has great plans for all of us — yes, even me and you! Because Jesus ascended into heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to earth, God now chooses to minister to the world through you and all Vincentians and followers of Christ. We begin first in our homes, then extending His love into our parishes and work-places and play-places. Invest what God has given to you, not with mediocrity but with full effort in a spirit of success. Be grateful for all we have and know God’s plan. Be grateful always for whatever is placed before us. We are here to do His will and complete His plan.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. As Vincentians, we are called to serve. Sometimes it is as President or executive. Do not be afraid. God is in charge and it is His plan.
Lynn L’Heureux is Special needs co-coordinator & Advisor of the Society of St Vincent de Paul Calgary Alberta Canada.