Thursday of the first week of Advent, 2022

    December 1, 2022

    Isaiah 26: 1-6 is a song mixed with grief, lament, praise and ultimately trust in our Father’s offered peace. It closes with the presence of the needy alongside God. Is this an invitation to us throughout Catholic Charities to remember that the most vulnerable walk alongside the Lord?

    Psalm 118 reminds us to “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.” These past few years have been challenging for us, our agencies, and the clients and communities we serve, and we’re reminded that “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” As the weeks of the pandemic wore on and new norms mixed with life’s realities, our spirits, patience, praise and trust were at risk of eroding.

    As Advent begins, recalling that Christ himself came to earth knowing that discomfort and suffering would be his companions, may we renew our adoration and trust the Lord is good and his love endures forever. “The Lord is God, and he has given us light.” May we be inspired to see it. May we be compelled to shine it.

    As we continue our mission work, building and rebuilding in our new realities, may we be wise and build our house on rock. Today’s gospel reading reminds us no matter the storms, when we seek and do our Father’s will, he is faithful. He is good. His mercy endures forever. He is our refuge, our protection, our peace. May we intentionally reflect on his goodness, provision and love toward us and those we serve. May our spirits and missions be renewed this Advent season.

    Malissa Larson serves as the Sr. Director of Community, Faith and Volunteer Engagement for Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Phoenix with the mission to walk alongside the community’s most vulnerable with solutions that permanently improve lives.

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