Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, priest
(Haggai 1:1-8; Luke 9:18-22)
St. Vincent de Paul founded the Daughters of Charity to take care of the poor. When some began to worry because their mission would take them away from common prayer, Vincent told them that the concern was not justified. He said that they were leaving Christ to go to Christ. In today’s gospel we see Jesus in a similar disguise.
Peter correctly reveals the identity when he calls him “the Christ of God.” But Jesus tells him and the others not to talk about it because the identity could only be misunderstood. Jesus is not one to rule with an army and judge with a police force. Rather he comes as one anointed (the root of the word Christ) to serve the people. He is a teacher and a leader whom the people voluntarily follow.
Christ does not walk among us to day but that does not mean he is not present. One of the more acute modes of his presence is the poor. By assisting them we have an opportunity to know his love and to realize his promise.