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Welcoming the Lord
Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest
When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from Heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me be ever aware that my life is a journey, with you by my side. Help me to welcome those who may visit me, with the same reverence and love that I should extend to you. By your mercy, I will one day be welcomed to my eternal home with you. Amen.
- We Have Received a Message: Like the Samaritans, we too have been told by the prophets, the evangelists, the Apostles, and the Church, that Jesus is coming. By the grace of our Baptism, he resides in our hearts. What do we do to honor that presence? What do we do to dishonor it? Notice the reason the Gospel provides for the Samaritan’s rejection of Jesus: because his destination was Jerusalem, which would become the scene of his Passion and death. Is that why we sometimes shrink from welcoming Jesus—because we would then have to follow him to the cross?
- We Always Have a Choice: Every day, every moment, we have an opportunity to welcome the Lord into our life with love and devotion or to turn away from him and fall into sin. The moment-by-moment decisions we make will lead us one day to eternal rest in Heaven or the horrors of Hell. Prayer and the frequent reception of the sacraments can help us both to grow in the love we need to worship the Lord daily, and help us to resist temptation and turn from sin. By the choices we make, let us show our gratitude and love for our savior and redeemer, Jesus.
- Justice Is in the Lord’s Hands: He rebuked his disciples when they asked to set the unwelcoming town ablaze. He was showing us that the shortcomings of others need not concern us. Jesus will exact the perfect recompense in his own time. When we are not welcomed by someone because we are Christians, we pray for them, pray for the ability to forgive them from our heart, and move on… “journey to another town.”
Conversing with Christ: Jesus, help me to be aware that you are with me in the present moment. Help me to forgive those who hurt me, and to leave everything else in your almighty, just, and merciful hands.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will focus on being your messenger, whether or not the receivers are open to the message.
For Further Reflection: “The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility. For, as he does not know at all how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself from it” (St. Vincent DePaul).
Dorothy Warner is a Washington, D.C., area writer, who also works in technology and has a family. When not gardening, volunteering, or baking artisanal breads, she enjoys spending time with her husband, grown children, and a large collection of family pets.
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