From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
December 6 – Second Sunday of Advent
Advent is a season of hope! This week our first reading from Isaiah comes from the ‘Book of Consolation’ and tells the story of God’s people who have been taken into captivity, their temple has been destroyed and everything that was important to them seemed to have been taken away. Into this darkness, this sadness and despair comes the voice of the prophet with a message of comfort and hope. This is the irony of hope. It most often is born out of despair and suffering. When all else is lost; when no answers can be found; hope remains as our salvation and the answer to the aspiration to happiness which God places in each of us. It is the response to our Faith, trust in the Divine Providence and Plan of God, and to the Promise of our Lord Jesus, who comes to a world wrapped in darkness, as a tiny baby to take on our suffering and pain that we might be delivered to His care for all eternity. As we suffer today through the pandemic which afflicts us, the moral decay which envelops us, and the self-indulgences and pride which blind us, God calls us to the humility of those Israelites to which the prophet spoke in the first reading. They did not know how hope would be delivered to them, but they knew and trusted that it would. We do not understand or know the answers for today, but we are reminded each year during Advent – and in a particular way this Advent – that God has our backs, that He will provide and care for us! We must be patient and persevere. St. Teresa of Avila said “Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain.” Know with certainty that our answers and our hope are in God, for He is in control.
As Vincentians, we so often face difficult decisions – choices where we do not know what is best. As holds on evictions are lifted, and as more and more struggle to find their own answers, we will face many difficult times and decisions over the coming months of how to help those who are suffering. Now more than ever, we need to turn to God the Spirit and humbly seek His counsel and wisdom in prayer. We need to ask forgiveness and mercy for those who we simply are not able to help. We need to seek patience and trust that God will ultimately deliver each of us – both ourselves and those we minister to – from the pain and suffering we confront. We need to embrace the joy and hope of a little baby boy who embraces each of us in His loving arms, placing our trust in Him! Do I trust God? Do I embrace His hope and share it widely? Will I accept where He leads me and those I walk with?
Father, give me comfort and give me hope! I come to you in prayer humbly asking for patience, for acceptance and for courage to remain faithful to you in all that I do. Help me to trust in your Plan! Help me to trust in your mercy! Help me to trust in your love! Let my faith be strong that even when I do not understand, I accept, knowing with certainty that you will care for each of us. I pray all of this in your Son’s name. Amen