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.  And the second sentiment is kindness and charity.  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 Responsorial 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 reflect the joy of God’s love in all my interactions with others?  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!  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