“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
We realize that suffering will befall those we serve, and we are acutely aware that we won’t have all the answers or be able to solve all their problems. There is still need and injustice in our communities. There is much that could weigh us down and burn us out.
But today’s Gospel uplifts us and reminds us how important faith is to our work- for ourselves and those we serve. The message of Advent gives us this faith, as it is a time to reflect upon the coming of God into the world to bring the eternal good. Through Advent we can come to know that it will come. Our hope that something good might happen can be transcended by a unshakable faith that something good will happen.
Advent reminds us how the story ends, and that struggles are not all there are. Much pain will be experienced, but we can endure it and walk alongside those we serve with a sense of joy, meaning, and purpose because of our faith. We know that on the other side there are still scars, but they have been miraculously turned into an instrument of good. We realize this transformation might take place after this life, in a time and space we cannot see or understand, but we still believe that it will happen. When we have immediate need and suffering in front of us, this can be hard to accept, but it is essential for us to work from a place of joy.
Therefore, let us take this time to renew our faith in the belief that good will come to those we serve, regardless of what we see or experience. Let us work in that light for our good and the good of those we serve!
Michael Smith is Chief Program Officer of Catholic Charities Maine and a member of the CCUSA Management and Administration Steering Committee.