Heralds of good news

    December 10, 2023
    Advent reflection day 8 graphic. Watercolor brush strokes of Christmas tree branches in white and pale green.

    “Comfort ye. Comfort ye my people.”

    Whenever I read today’s passage from Isaiah, I can’t help but hear the theme from Handel’s Messiah in my head. How desperately we need to hear that message today, especially when our ears are assaulted with the sounds of hatred and violence throughout the world and in our own communities.

    I think of our staff and volunteers who day in and day out generously bring comfort and healing within our local communities — welcoming, guiding, teaching, feeding, housing, healing, counseling, encouraging, organizing, advocating, connecting and accompanying. Our staff and volunteers are like Isaiah’s “heralds of good news,” proclaiming justice and peace in our neighborhoods. Like John the Baptist, they are truly preparing the way for God’s deep compassion to enter the hearts of those who fear and who struggle to survive.

    As we reflect on today’s readings, how might we open our own hearts to the good news that we are loved, we are forgiven and that we are given the gifts of our voice and hands to bring divine peace, justice and consolation to our communities? What words of comfort do you need to hear today?

    Gregory Kepferle is CEO of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County and President of Charities Housing and has served in the Catholic Charities network for over thirty-four years. He and his wife live in Morgan Hill, California.

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