This Week’s Vincentian Reflection
TWELFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
June 23, 2013
Gospel: (Luke 9:18-24)
Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone. He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”
Prayer is so very important for the Christian: it is an encounter with God that reassures us who we are and gives us the strength to deny ourselves, take up our daily cross, and lose ourselves in Jesus. By opening ourselves in prayer to the divine Presence, we are actually opening ourselves to our own identity and mission. Following Jesus has its cost. Indeed, his words are true: we save our lives by losing them. We know this is true because Jesus showed us the way. (Living Liturgy, p.156)
Jesus’ question “Who do you say that I am?” to his disciples remains the fundamental christological question in every age. St. Vincent answers this question by focusing on the missionary Christ: the Evangelizer of the Poor sent “To preach the good news to the poor.” Vincent makes a clear explicit choice. The vision he offers is not of Christ as teacher, nor as healer, nor as perfect adorer of the Father, nor as perfect image of the divinity (the vision of Francis de Sales), but as “The Evangelizer of the Poor.” Vincent’s disciples are called to enter into the following of Christ in the very terms with which Jesus opens his public ministry: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; therefore he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind and release to prisoner, to announce a year of favor from the Lord.” (Maloney, The Way of Vincent de Paul, p.22-23)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)
How do we live out our Vincentian call of following Jesus “The Evangelizer of the Poor”?
Jesus, Evangelizer of the Poor, you call us to be your disciples, -may we be your true servants.
Jesus, show us how to weep with those who weep,
-give us eyes to see you in the broken and the poor.
Jesus, anoint us and give us your Spirit,
-make us true followers of Vincent and Frederic. Amen