From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
December 5 – Second Sunday of Advent
“Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery; put on the splendor of glory from God forever.” Our first reading today speaks to a people who were being challenged to remember their religious roots while living in a society that was contrary to all that faith had taught them. But despite their missteps and sins of the past, great hope is coming for them to change their ways – and to change the course of history. “Look to the East” they are instructed. That is where a tiny baby boy will usher in this new and eternal hope. He will make straight the path as he removes the obstacles and makes our journey possible. It is the hope of God’s love shared by St. Paul and others in the second reading. It is the hope we are called to share with others – the greatest gift we can possibly give.
John the Baptist ushers this new hope in with the clarion call pointing directly to Jesus and calling us to repentance. The hope of Christ is ours for the taking – no matter what we may have done in the past. We often find ourselves challenged today the way those in the first reading were. We live in a society that is so often hostile to the teachings of our Lord. We can easily fall prey to the sinful ways of this society. But the hope that the prophet Baruch, that St. Paul, and that John the Baptist all point to is offered to each of us as well. When we come humbly before the Lord, seeking his will for our lives and offering a true conversion of heart, he wraps us in his loving arms and fills us with joy. To do so, we need to intentionally prepare our hearts and change those things which are not of God.
As Vincentians, we make that promised hope visible to those we minister to as well. It is God’s love and mercy made ever more present as we grow in our love and knowledge. As a consequence, filled with God’s love, we bring that love to others. It is through humility and love of God; through patience and kindness; through forgiveness, mercy and compassion that we become vessels of God’s healing presence. How do I prepare myself to be a humble servant of God’s love? How do I make His hope evident and present to all I encounter? How do I join myself to St. Paul in sharing his love broadly?
Father, you are the author of love! Indeed, you are love itself! Give me the grace to be a conduit of your love to all those around me. Help me to walk humbly before you, accepting your will for myself and others. Grace me with the ability to make your hope evident for all to see by the way I live my life and share your love. I pray all of this in your Son’s name. Amen