Feast of St. Vincent de Paul
Gospel: (Luke 4:16-19)
Jesus came to Nazareth where he had been reared, and entering the synagogue on the sabbath as he was in the habit of doing, he stood up to do the reading. When the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed him, he unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: “The spirit of the Lord is upon me; therefore, he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring good tidings of joy to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind and release to prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Lord.” Rolling up the scroll he gave it back to the assistant and sat down. All in the synagogue had their eyes fixed on him. Then he began by saying to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
“Vincent makes a clear explicit choice: ‘All aim at loving him, but they love him in different ways: Carthusians by solitude; Capuchins by poverty; others, again, by singing his praises. But we are bound to show it by leading the people to love God and their neighbor.’ The vision Vincent offers is not one of Christ as teacher, nor as healer, nor as “perfect adorer of the Father”( the vision of Berulle), nor “perfect image of the divinity” (the vision of Francis de Sales), but of Evangelizer of the poor. Vincent’s disciples are called to enter into the following of Christ in the very terms with which, in Luke’s gospel, 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 of joy to the poor…’ In Luke’s perspective, a new age is dawning. Jesus announces the good news of the kingdom to all, but especially to the poor, the weak, the lowly, the out casts of the world.” (Maloney, The Way of St. Vincent de Paul, p.22-23)
“St. Vincent’s spirituality flows from his contemplation of this Christ. The driving force that generates both the incredible activity and the gentle contemplation of this great saint is his vision of the Evangelizer of the Poor. He encourages his followers to contemplate this Christ again and again. “O how happy they will be who can repeat at the hour of their death those beautiful words of Our Lord: ‘He sent me to bring good news to the poor.’”
(Maloney, The Way of St. Vincent de Paul, p.23-24)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts on the readings after a moment of silence)
In what ways do you “bring good news to the poor?”
Gentle God, renew in us the spirit of our patron St. Vincent de Paul,
-kindle is us the fire of your love.
Tender God, show us how to weep with those who weep,
-fill our hearts with compassion and love.
Creator God, you call women and men to be Vincentians,
-give us eyes to see Christ in the broken and the poor.