From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

December 13 – Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday)

“! Rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul:” – “My soul rejoices in my God!” – “Rejoice always…in all circumstances give thanks!”  – “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor!”  Joy is the resounding theme of this third week of Advent.  We begin to see the light and anticipate the coming of the hope we contemplated last week – the hope of Jesus Christ.  In the Gospel, with great zeal and even greater humility, John testifies to the light – the light, the hope and the joy of Jesus Christ!  Jesus comes – not just to that time, but to our time to be present with us.  We are called to do the work of the Lord just as John did.  We are not Christ, but we witness to his goodness and mercy.  For he is both here in our midst and awaiting for us at the eternal banquet.  In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, he invites us to live in joy, prayer, and thanksgiving, for this is what God wants of us.  God gives us holiness in our lives through thee Holy Spirit.  One of our primary responsibilities as Christians is to show the face of Christ in our individual existence by using the gifts he gives us to their fullest extent.  We are called to do all of this with joy – even in times of great challenge because we know and trust in the hope of Christ which will overcome all.

As Vincentians, this compels us to reach out in charity and love to help others who are hurting – to bring God’s love and hope to them through our very presence. And we are called to bring the great joy of the Good News.  We are called to make the Lord present and active in our lives, in the lives of those around us, and in the lives of those we minister to. Now more than ever we need to work to have the joy of Christ shine through us in our ministry.  More important than material help is the emotional support we can provide to others during this time of COVID and isolation.  Friendship, shown through caring deeply about the person – more than the situation – and delivered with patience, kindness and compassion can provide the greatest gift of all – the joy of Christ!  Do I make His presence come alive for those whom he brings before me?  Do I allow my ministry to be led and inspired by the Spirit?  Do I do so with joy in my heart?

Father, grant me the grace to witness effectively and to testify to your presence and goodness.  Allow me to not ‘quench the Spirit’, but rather to be inspired by the Spirit listening always to your will for me. Help me to grow in patience, understanding, kindness and compassion that I might care deeply for and focus on the person more than the situation.  Help me to proclaim your name rejoicing always in your presence and goodness!   I pray all of this in your Son’s name.  Amen

Deacon Mike