From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

December 12 – Third Sunday of Advent (Guadete Sunday)

“What is it that we should do?”  The crowd, soldiers, tax collectors, and so many others were pressing John the Baptist, “What is it that we should do?”  They thought he might be the Christ.  Their question was sincere and from the heart.  They were focused on their own need for conversion, not the need for others to change.  We could learn something from this about the attitude each of us should seek to have.

Our readings this week are full of joy as we anticipate and feel the presence of the Lord coming toward us.  Rejoice!  I say it again rejoice.  The people were filled with excitement in anticipation of the Messiah.  They thought it might be John, but he tells them “one mightier than I is coming.”  John challenged the people that they might be prepared.  He tells them be lovable, be charitable, give to the poor, be honest, stop harassing and intimidating people.  John challenges us as well.  He challenges us to a new attitude of sacrificial love.   He challenges us to look at how we treat others and to make an effort to be kind, considerate and charitable. John the Baptist gives voice to the charity which Jesus will both model and preach when he comes.  Paul tells us in the second reading that “your kindness should be known to all.”  The reality is these two concepts are inseparable.  Kindness begets joy and joy spawns kindness.  Both are given to us in the gift and grace of a little baby boy who is pure love.  Pure love envelopes all that is around it and shines forth in kindness, joy, and charity.

As Vincentians, we are called to “cry out with joy and gladness….confident and unafraid, for our strength and our courage is in the Lord,” says our Psalm.  There is only one response our ministry can have to those whom Christ brings into our lives.  We reach out in love and compassion.  We do so confident that our Lord will inspire us.  We do so with the kindness he instills in us.  And we come in joy because of the gift He has given us.  Do I focus on how others should change…or on how I should change?  How do I reflect the joy of God’s love in all my interactions with others?  How do I have trust and confidence that God will always give me the answers I need and He wants me to have?

Father, I rejoice in the Lord always! Let me cry out with joy for the coming of your Kingdom!  Grace me with the humility to seek conversion of my heart, turning away from sin and welcoming the spirit into my heart.   Give me the courage to embrace your hope, your kindness and your joy with confidence trusting in your Divine Providence.  Allow me to humbly embrace through prayer and petition those whom you bring to me in ministry.  Help me to bring glad tidings to the poor that they may come to know your love and joy as I do.    I pray all of this in your Son’s name.  Amen

Deacon Mike