Called to Love
(posted: January 1 2020)
CALLED TO LOVE
A new commandment I give you.
Love one another.
As I have loved you so you must love one another.
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Canada begins 2020 with a new two-year theme “WE ARE CALLED”. In the coming months and years our conferences and councils will explore this theme, studying how it applies to us and to our vocation to serve Christ in His poor.
I am writing this message on Boxing Day so that it can be published on the Ontario website for the month of January 2020. It’s quiet here. Our out of town company has gone home. Three Christmas dinners are finished, except for the leftovers in the fridge. We are almost back to normal living.
Christmas is always such a busy time. We plan and shop, decorate and bake, entertain guests and are entertained by others. We remember the past and plan for the future with both laughter and tears. And we do all of this as we light candles on our Advent wreaths and pray the old, familiar stories. We wait in darkness for the Light of the World.
For many people Christmas ends on December 25. But that is not our way. Lucky Catholics! We hold on to Christmas through the whole Christmas season, celebrating beyond the birth of Jesus, into January for the Feast of the Epiphany and the Baptism of Jesus. If we can’t keep all the decorations until the very end of the season, we try to keep at least something in our homes to remind ourselves that Christmas is not a day, but a season.
There is a Christmas saying, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” What’s our reason beyond the Christmas season? Perhaps LOVE is the reason.
Love is the message: For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son. (John 3:16) What are we supposed to do with this love? What is it? How does it manifest itself in our daily lives?
According to St. Augustine:
What does love look like?
It has the hands to help others.
It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy.
It has eyes to see misery and want.
It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men.
That is what love looks like.
St. Vincent, St. Louise, Blessed Frederic, Blessed Rosalie and all of our Vincentian patriarchs and matriarchs understood St. Augustine’s message. It is our message too. Let us go out in 2020 with the hands, feet, eyes and ears of love.
May God continue to bless our Society and those we serve,
by Denise Bondy, Chair
ONRC Spirituality Committee
Called to Love
January 1 2020