St Vincent de Paul | Monday 27 September 2021
Today is Monday 27 September, the feast of St Vincent de Paul in the 26th week of Ordinary time.
The King’s Singers sing Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis. ‘I have never put my hope in any other but in you’. As I begin this time of prayer today, can I speak those words to God? Can I place all my hope, all my trust, all my faith in him?
Today’s reading is from the Prophet Zechariah.
The word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath. Thus says the Lord: I will return to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts shall be called the holy mountain. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of their great age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Even though it seems impossible to the remnant of this people in these days, should it also seem impossible to me, says the Lord of hosts? Thus says the Lord of hosts: I will save my people from the east country and from the west country; and I will bring them to live in Jerusalem. They shall be my people and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.
Today is the feast day of St Vincent de Paul, patron saint of charities and perhaps best remembered through the good works of the members of the St Vincent de Paul Society. Perhaps, you know this charity, are involved with it or have benefitted from it?
At first, Vincent had seen the priesthood as a way to escape his humble beginnings, and, indeed found great status amongst the wealthy in the city of Paris. At the time of Zechariah, the people have just escaped exile and are now finding their feet in the city they had longed for. But was Jerusalem all they had hoped? Was Paris? What are your feelings about the place where you find yourself at this time? What longings arise to share with the Lord?
Whatever his plans were, Vincent finds his true vocation ministering to the poor, his past status turned to the service of others, his aristocratic congregation transformed to follow their own personal ministries, becoming more, bringing hope. The Lord makes the promise to the people of Jerusalem. It will happen - there will be peace and security for all.
‘Even though it seems impossible… should it also seem impossible to me?’ As you listen to the reading again, consider your trust, your faith in the Lord.
As we end this time of prayer today, ask yourself, “how have I changed, and am I now being invited to change?”
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.