Rev. Tomaž Mavrič, C.M.
24th Successor to Saint Vincent de Paul
Homily, July 10, 2016
It is with great joy and thankfulness to God that I would like to extend my warmest greetings to all the members of the different branches of the Vincentian Family in the USA as well as to extend my warmest greetings to all the members of the Vincentian Family around the world!
It is with deep trust in Providence that we can look with much hope into the future, as the charism we try to live as members of the Vincentian Family in today’s world is so much a “sign of these times”!
Inspired and accompanied by Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, St. Vincent de Paul, the Evangelizer of the Poor, the many Blesseds and Saints of the Vincentian Family and so many wonderful members of the family living all over the globe, who in today’s world are wonderful examples and mentors of how to incarnate the Vincentian charism, we have all the necessary tools to actively participate in the building of the Kingdom, making this world a better place!
We have recently officially ended within the Vincentian Family, “The Year of Collaboration”. It was a year of great blessings!
We grew in the awareness of how important and essential it is to collaborate with each other within the individual branches as well as within the Vincentian Family as such in the local, national, and international levels.
We discovered in our brothers and sisters the many gifts that God has given to every single individual in its own ways and shapes.
We saw the positive outcomes of sharing our talents and gifts in a concrete project or undertaking, becoming much more effective in its goals and producing much more lasting fruits.
We got to discover new branches and members of the worldwide Vincentian Family, whose updated information was added to the list that presently numbers more than 225 different branches, being men or women of different religious congregations or members of the different lay groups or associations. In many ways this was made possible by the hard work of the members of the newly founded international Vincentian Family Office located in Philadelphia, USA.
The membership of new branches to be added to the worldwide Vincentian Family is far from over.
In different parts of the world we keep discovering new congregations, groups, associations as well as individuals who still presently do not belong officially to a specific branch, but who live the Vincentian charism in a concrete and active way.
It is my hope and wish that more and more individuals and entire groups, associations, religious congregations will join the Vincentian Family officially.
It is our common mission entrusted to us from Jesus himself on behalf of the Poor.
A wonderful symbol that speaks so strongly of collaboration or support within the Vincentian Family is a picture with pieces of a puzzle, that is made up of different colors, shapes and sizes. After placed together, they make up a beautiful picture!
But collaboration within the different members of the Vincentian Family needs further growing! We need to avoid any individualism in our service to the Poor, on a personal level as well as on the level of a concrete branch, but build the Kingdom together as a family! This is the only way forward and the way for effective and lasting results!
It is the charism of St. Vincent de Paul, the Vincentian spirituality that makes of us his followers, members of the same family.
Five virtues that are so much part of the Vincentian spirituality: simplicity, humility, meekness, giving up of oneself bringing concrete resolutions as an offering to Jesus and the Poor and zeal, shape our lives to protect ourselves against the different temptations and attractions of the world where people live as God would not exist, as Jesus would be an irrelevant figure in the history of humanity, where everything turns around oneself, not having time for the brother and sister next door as well as the countless persons around the world who are suffering and waiting and hoping to be helped!
The five virtues are like a chain that make our life grow in holiness, enclosing ourselves more and more in Christ.
Simplicity leads us into humility, humility into meekness. Meekness makes us stronger into giving up of oneself, bringing at different times of our life journey concrete things and resolutions as an offering pleasing to God; and that makes us at the end grow in zeal, putting us on fire for the mission entrusted to us by Jesus the Evangelizer of the Poor.
In the first reading the Fifth Book of Moses tells us that the Commandment or Commandments are not far away from us — as being impossible to reach and follow — but they are in fact in reach of our hands, they are inside us, in our heart.
It is for this reason that the more our heart will be filled with Jesus’ Spirit, the more the Commandments will be easier to incarnate in our own life.
In today’s Gospel the parable of Good Samaritan ends with the words: “go and do likewise.” It is an invitation, a call, an urgency to keep walking in the steps of Jesus, the Evangelizer of the Poor.
As members of the wide Vincentian Family, by keeping deepening our collaboration, depending on as well as deepening the five Vincentian virtues we can look with much hope in the future to be able to fulfill as best as we can the mission entrusted to us.