From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
December 1 – First Sunday of Advent
November 28 – Thanksgiving Day
We begin again! It is the cycle of the church. Every year we get a fresh start. In Advent, we look forward with great hope and anticipation for what is to come – the promises of the future. No matter what we have done – how well or how bad – we have an opportunity to start again – fresh – and through no merit of our own. We enter Advent with Thanksgiving on our hearts and minds – thanksgiving for all that God has blessed us with and the hope that He gives us. Our readings this week remind us to take hold of this hope by being earnest in our preparations for the ‘coming of the Son of Man.’ We are to put on our Lord Jesus Christ. Through the Coming of God Incarnate in Jesus His Son, we are giving the model to follow for our lives. Through His mercy He is ever present and available to us. Through the Liturgy of the Eucharist, God invites us into the greatest Thanksgiving of all, giving us the nourishment of Christ himself to prepare us for eternal salvation.
As Vincentians, we are confronted with the neighbors who struggle to succeed. Some we see with frequency and we wonder if they are really trying. In Advent, we are reminded of the importance of mercy and continually offering our help and support to those in need. We are called to provide them with the support and guidance to prepare for their future and to make them future a future of hope. We must set our judgements to the side and continually make available the opportunity to start anew for those who desire it. Do I set my judgments aside, acting always with mercy and compassion? Do I embrace in humility the opportunities God gives to me to be merciful to others?
What I am forever grateful for this Thanksgiving, is that our Lord’s grace and mercy toward me is infinitely greater than mine is toward others at times, and that His mercy even makes up for the shortcomings of my own. I pray each day that He may instill in me a greater sense of that mercy through our Vincentian work.
Lord Jesus, thank you for the grace of new opportunities. ‘Remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Shower your mercy upon me that I might grow in humility, recognizing your presence and goodness in every person you bring into my life. Give me the strength to extend forgiveness, mercy and love to all others. Allow me the grace to extend to others love and mercy in the fashion you shower it upon me. We pray all of this in your name. Amen