ST VINCENT DE PAUL, P. (Memorial) White
Vincent was born in 1581 in southwest France to a peasant family. As an intelligent youth, he spent four years with the Franciscan Friars getting education and studied theology in 1596 at the University of Toulouse. He was ordained at the age of 20 and was taken into slavery to Tunis and was freed in1607. He returned to France and there started organisations to help the poor, nurse the sick, and find jobs for the unemployed. With Louise de Marillac, he founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity. He died in 1660 at Paris, France. His body is incorrupt.
First Reading: Ezra 9:5-9; Psalm: Tobit 13. R. v. 1b; Gospel: Lk 9:1-6
“SHAKE OFF THE DUST”
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
“And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” (Lk 9:5).
Jesus called out the twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases. He afterwards sent them out to preach the kingdom of God to everywhere they go. One can imagine the enthusiasm and excitement of the twelve to see that their master believed in them. When we are embarking on an exciting campaign for the first time, we often tingle with the feelings of preparedness and excitement to the extent that we fail to see the other side of success which is failure or rejection.
So, Jesus immediately opened the eyes of the twelve to this reality. “And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” This warning of Jesus was not to discourage but to encourage them. Success is often buried on the other side rejection. And until we scale this fence, we may never reach the height of success. And unfortunately, some people do not do what it takes to get there. Therefore, the “shaking off the dust from their feet” wherever they will be rejected could be a way to drop every negative energy that comes with rejection. In other words, wherever they are rejected, they must drop every feeling of discouragement that could hamper their enthusiasm to go on.
Just like the twelve, we have all been baptised and sent out to witness to the gospel through our lives. We must always understand that not everyone would approve or accept the values we profess through our words and actions. By virtue of our baptism, we are emissaries of truth, justice and love. But the reality is that not everyone would take our side whenever we stand on the side of truth, justice and love. People will vehemently reject these values and event hate us for promoting them. But like Jesus said; “shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them” and move on. We must reject every negative energy that could dissuade us from witnessing to the gospel of Christ. For in this way, we keep Christ alive in our hearts and in our world.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, may we not give up in the face of every discouragement to do good. But may we find courage in you to move on. Amen.