Intention: That in this season of hospitality and generosity, all of us will make a special place for those whose lives are wounded by need, misfortune or injustice.
Today’s Gospel | John 5:33-36
Jesus said to the Jews: “You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. I do not accept testimony from a human being, but I say this so that you may be saved. John was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.”
A Reflection for the Third Friday of Advent
It has been said that, if you want to make God laugh, then tell him your plans. In other words, all of us have to come to terms with just how seriously we should take ourselves. Aside from admitting to the inherent comical quality of our attempts at mastering life, there is also the matter of accepting that we are not really in control in the first place. This realization can be a turning point in our spirituality. Is our faith a way of trusting in Gods’ ways or of justifying ours? The story of the Nativity is very much a story about surprise and letting go. It is filled with ordinary people who are confronted with a sudden and incomprehensible event, one that calls them to heroic acts of humility and surrender. Imagine what might have happened – or not happened – if clinging to certainty had mattered more to them than welcoming possibility. In the words of Thomas Merton, “You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.” The time of Advent is a time for us to learn that only by abandoning ourselves to God’s providence will we be able to connect ourselves to our true meaning and purpose.
Eternal Father, you came to us in the ordinariness of simple and humble lives. As the everyday people of Jesus’ world sought to know and believe in him, they brought the world closer and closer to its salvation. Grant us the faith and perseverance to live the same way, trusting that in doing your will we are helping, step by step, to build your Kingdom. May we always walk with one another in faith, humility, and justice. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.