We rejoice this Third Sunday of Advent (known as Gaudete, meaning “Rejoice!”). Especially at this time of year we consider giving of our time, talent, and treasure to others, such as volunteering to perform tasks for our neighbors, and praying for their spiritual, material, or financial needs.
However, during this joyful, yet busy and often intense season, that task of supporting and giving to others can seem exhausting and paralyzing. There are so many people in need; what can we really do to help them all, and where will we find the time and the energy?
St. Paul tells us we shouldn’t be afraid to ask God for His help. “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God” (Philippians 4:6-7). In other words, we can and should go to God with all our needs and present them to Him, along with our thanks. The bottom line is that “your kindness should be known to all” (4:5).
Advent is the perfect time for all of us, but especially families, to share our gifts and blessings with those in need. The family unit is a “domestic church” with a mission to foster a communion of life and love through prayer in order to evangelize the world. Love within the family should spill over its borders and radiate out to everyone. The family should be a visible sign of God’s love for humanity, not only to be turned inwards but also outward to the rest of the world.
When the crowds, including tax collectors and soldiers, hear John the Baptist’s message that their Savior is coming, they ask what they should do to prepare. He basically tells them to be good and generous stewards of all God’s gifts to them! So let us rejoice and open our bounty to as many people as we can, with God’s help.
--Jim Wollak, Parishioner
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