Ye suffering and afflicted, open your hearts
to hope, for the Savior is about to be born.
- from the Advent Novena
Syria, Puerto Rico,
Houston and Nigeria are a few of the world situations which cry out to heaven for
consolation. Awareness of and response
to the needs of our broken world is a serious call to all believers.
Here at the School,
our service opportunities during Advent offer a response to calls for
help. Works of mercy are essential to
the life of faith. Through our
participation in wrapping toys for St.
Patrick’s Parish in Lawrence, volunteering at Christmas in the City, and collecting food
and gifts for families at Harbor Point, we extend God’s compassion to those in
need of hope.
These tangible activities
are important, but they are not enough.
The mystery of the Incarnation which we contemplate during
Advent challenges us to acknowledge our solidarity with the poor. Awareness of
our own fragility moves us to dependence on God. The need to open our
hearts to hope acknowledges that the temptation to cynicism, self-satisfaction
and despair is ever present.
It is in our
experience of hardship and weakness that we begin to know our need of God. When we witness someone in trouble, our
capacity to reach out and help is informed by our own experience of
weakness. When our response to the
suffering of others is there but for the grace of God go I we
know our own need.
In these weeks of
preparation for Christmas we are invited to reflect on the areas of our own
lives where we need the healing presence of Jesus.
Let’s pray that
during this Advent we renew our dependence on God.