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. Once some of the dedicated women worried that their mission was taking them away from prayer. Vincent told them that their concern was not justified. He said that they were leaving Christ to go to Christ. Today’s gospel teaches us to also see Jesus in this way.
Peter correctly identifies Jesus as the “the Christ of God.” But Jesus tells him and the other disciples not to refer to him as such. He does not want the people to think of him as a king with an army. Rather he has been anointed (what the word Christ means) to serve the people. He is a teacher and a healer whom the people voluntarily follow.
Christ does not walk among us today, but this does not mean that he is not present. One sign of his presence is the poor. Their simple faith accepting of suffering reminds us of Jesus in the gospel. By assisting them we will know his love and realize his promise.