Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

Our Loving, Caring God

In our readings today, I was overwhelmed by how much God loves us. They reinforce the hope we are seeking during Advent as we await the birth of our Savior.  In Isaiah, He promises to feed us, destroy death, wipe away our tears and save us. In the Psalm, we hear that because He is our shepherd, we “shall not want,” we will be given repose and rest, we will be guided in right paths, He will be us in dark times, and He will give us courage to face all troubles by being always at our side. In Matthew, He shows concern for our earthly needs by Jesus insisting on feeding the crowd who had been with him for three days.

These readings also made the words of Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas more profound for me. In his homily to the bishops and priests of Louisiana during their recent convention he said, “What we learned by the goodness of Jesus, which attracted the people who loved him so much, was exactly the fact of the one thing God can’t do – God cannot say, ‘Your problem does not interest me. That was perhaps the most profound and intense prophetic announcement that his mere presence announced. The weakness of God is found in the one thing he cannot say, ‘Your problem does not interest me.’”  Bishop Flores commented that the ability to take an interest in the problems of the people of today is at the heart of prophetic priesthood.  In these days of constant turmoil, distress, and disrespect towards each other, I find comfort in these words for all of us are called to bear witness in our love of God and neighbor.

As we prepare ourselves for the birth of Christ, we reflect on how we take interest in the problems of others, especially those in our families, neighborhoods, parishes, and cities.  What can we do to ease their problems, no matter how small? We can be the face of God’s goodness to others by caring for them. As we meditate on “the reason for the season,” we allow ourselves to remain open to the ways God wants us to care for those around us. May our loving God always be with us, give us hope, and guide us to those who are hurting and in need of a friend. Amen!