I like these words of the late Cardinal Hume: “There are times when I can visualize Our Lord at the break of day standing by my bed and saying: “Get up, follow me.” Whether I am conscious of it or not, in effect that invitation, that loving but insistent command, is given to me every day. Each new morning is the opportunity to start again. Yesterday there may have been inadequacies and failures but today Christ renews his call: “Follow me. I have chosen you. I need you.” Who can fail to respond to the thought that God needs our willing collaboration.”
We are carers of creation and of his people. Take this seriously, it is our world. God has made himself so vulnerable and this gospel reading is just before the passion. An area or parish improves if enough people do something. We look at areas in a locality which are now clean of drugs, more prosperous and just. This has been the work of people co-creating the world with God. Making it a better place. Doing the world a world of good.
Our Gospel today says – Don’t give up. God is always near! Live in hope and preparation. Stay awake to the season – the ways we can deepen and grow in our faith – maybe do a retreat, do something good for others with your time or finance, notice God in the events of the next few weeks, pray a bit every day, make time to be awakened to the centre of our world who is God, and to his central action in creating the world each day, sending Jesus Christ his Son.
A question for the first week of Advent: How can I help someone today?
Lord, send me, use me, create me for your work in the world.
Donal Neary SJ