Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
Psalm 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8
Today is the Feast Day of St. Vincent DePaul so I have been praying about the life of St. Vincent DePaul especially as I donated items to a thrift store named in his honor. There are many ministries and churches and schools named for St. Vincent DePaul. It is wonderful to have the constant reminder of his steadfast service to the poor.
As I read more about the life of St. Vincent DePaul I learned that he had been kidnapped and was held as a slave for two years. I wonder if that experience of being so helpless and vulnerable helped him develop his compassion for those in need.
Today as we prepare to hear the Gospel we hear this from Mark: The Son of Man came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” And in the Gospel from Luke we watch Jesus ignore the suggestion of his apostles to call down fire from heaven to consume the Samaritans who would not welcome Jesus to their village because he was on his way to Jerusalem.
St Vincent DePaul and Jesus both challenge me to look at my responses to others. When I face opposition or am not welcomed how do I respond? Do I wish to seek revenge by “calling down the fires?’ Can I respond with compassion to someone who does not seem willing to see me as the person I am? How can I pray for deeper understanding? When am I vulnerable does that vulnerability help me be more loving and giving or do I go on the defensive?
Praying with today’s readings and about the life of St. Vincent DePaul brings me to realize that my Fall Cleaning should focus on my spiritual and emotional house. It is time to sort through and discard some of my habits that get in the way of my being more compassionate and loving to others. This will help me better serve the Kingdom of God.