Intention: That all people will work together selflessly to bring peace and safety to those places that are being torn by war and battered by violence.
Today’s Gospel | Luke 3:15-16, 21-22
The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
From the Ninth Meditation for the Time of Retreat | Saint John Baptist de La Salle
Reflect on what Saint Paul says, that it is God who has established in the Church Apostles, Prophets, and teachers, and you will be convinced that he has also established you in your work. The same saint gives you another expression of this when he says that there are diverse ministries, but there are different operations, and the Holy Spirit manifests himself in each of these gifts for the common good, that is to say, for the good of the Church. One receives by the Spirit the gift to speak with wisdom; another, the gift of faith by the same Spirit.
You must not doubt that it is a great gift of God, this grace he has given you to be entrusted with the instruction of children, to announce the Gospel to them and to bring them up in the spirit of religion. But in calling you to this holy ministry, God demands that you fulfill it with ardent zeal for their salvation, because this is the work of God, and he curses the one who does his work carelessly.
Let it be clear, then, in all your conduct toward the children who are entrusted to you, that you regard yourselves as the ministers of God, carrying out your ministry with love and a sincere and true zeal, accepting with much patience the difficulties you have to suffer, willing to be despised by men and to be persecuted, even to give your life for Jesus in the fulfillment of your ministry.
Eternal Father, it is your will that we walk in the way of your peace and guide our steps to where we will know and serve you best. May we give ourselves without hesitation to the work of building your Kingdom. Grant us the humility and faithfulness to hear your call through the people and experiences we experience each day. Guide us in your truth, that amid all the changes and challenges of life, we may always remember our way to you. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.