December 23, 2021
Catholic Charities USA’s Advent Reflections
We see Ahaz seek security through human counsel, not Yahweh, and this becomes his downfall; he forms alliances with his enemy in the hope he will not be killed. He will not even ask God for a sign or direct intervention. Ahaz places his faith in what he has gathered through human experience, what he knows is possible. He closes his eyes and ears to the pure goodness and love of God.
By contrast, in the annunciation Gospel, the world is changed forever by the “yes” of one young girl. Through any confusion, fear or angst over the unknown, Mary powerfully announces to the Angel that she is the handmaiden of the Lord, and let it be done as God wishes. She puts her faith into action with love and trust in the providence of God. She is a perfect model for us in living a life of complete surrender to God.
It takes an enormous amount of faith, hope and love to say “Yes” to God’s call when there are questions left unanswered: when we don’t know how we will find housing and employment for Afghan arrivals; when we have no resources to help those whose lives have been devasted by a tornado or hurricane; when families, impacted by addiction and/or violence are left broken and homeless come to us for assistance; and yet, time and time again, staff and volunteers across the Catholic Charities network say “Yes” and trust in God’s goodness and His power to lead the way. And because of that, countless lives are changed forever: “Yours are the hands with which He blesses all the world” (St Teresa of Avila)
During this advent season, may all your “Yesses” fill you with enormous gladness and bring you closer to Him as we wait for His coming.
Jennifer Dyer has worked in the Catholic Charities network for almost twenty years, serving in the Dioceses of Camden, NJ and Gary, IN before joining CCUSA as the Director for Capacity Building in Disaster Operations.