From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
December 15 – Third Sunday of Advent
Our second reading this week come from the Letter of James and counsels us to patience. “Be patient…see how the farmer waits…do not complain about one another…take as an example the hardship and patience…the prophets.” Like the farmer who waits for the harvest – sometimes for longer than he would like – we too must wait, but with the assurance that God does provide us what we need. It may not always be in the way or time we would like but He is always faithful and provides for us. Secondly, we need to be patient with one another, not judging and always acting with mercy, compassion and forgiveness. Finally, we need to be patient as the prophets were, enduring the hardship, the scorn and the ridicule that sometimes comes with the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ. Many have suffered greatly but we all rest in the assurance of God’s faithfulness and the hope of His coming and salvation.
As Vincentians, our patience is sometimes tested. It is hard to see where help is coming from, or how we will overcome the challenges some are confronted with. Prayer and patience of the cornerstones of working through many of the situations we face. We need to be patient with the mistakes our neighbors have made and decisions we may not agree with. Likewise, we need to be patient with each other and cautious not to be judgmental. Our ministry can be quite challenging at times, causing us or our neighbors to suffer emotionally, financially and otherwise. Do I exercise the patience, humility and trust needed to persevere? Do I have confidence answers will come? Do I offer understanding, tolerance and hope in the face of adversity and tension? Do I see my suffering – and that of my neighbors – as being connected to the suffering of Christ?
Lord Jesus, grant me patience, tolerance, forgiveness and mercy that I might reflect your love out to those I minister to. Allow their presence, their humanness and frailties, their vulnerabilities and their failures to help me to see in them the very same in myself. Allow them to see in me your face, your love, your sacrifice and your hope for the future. Allow this Advent season to be transformational for me as a Vincentian and for those whom you bring before me as children of God. We pray all of this in your name. Amen