The readings for this third Sunday of Advent reverberate with the cries of the prophets of God, with the praises for the Lord on the lips of those who dare proclaim the advent of his infinite mercy and infinite justice.
It is an age promised by the Spirit for the raising of the downtrodden, and the falling of the powerful. It is an age in which we must all be prepared, for in the kingdom of this perpetual epoch, there will be no more return to the “old ways.”
What once was made crooked, will forever be straightened; what once was sinful, will forever be made immaculate; what once was the darkness of death, will forever be the light of everlasting life.
Such messages can only be brought and announced by anyone “foolish” enough to contradict the “wisdom of the world”.
We now take inspiration from the words of Isaiah, which the Christ adopted in his proclamation of the coming of the kingdom of God (Luke 4: 17 – 19), a bold initiative that must constitute the “mission statement” of every sincere Christian.
We also take inspiration from the words of our Blessed Mother Mary’s Magnificat, which reveals to us very clearly, the power of poverty over greed, the power of humility over pride, the power of mercy over conquest; and how her own life is a fitting example for all servants of the kingdom.
And we finally take inspiration from the modesty of John the Baptist, a continuing reminder that our service of the kingdom is solely and exclusively aimed for the greater glory of God.
May the following prayer of the Lord’s servants continue to strengthen our will to fight for him until death:
may your Holy Spirit be upon me!
I am but a lowly soul, a pitiful servant
of your great kingdom of heaven on earth,
of your mighty reign of justice and peace.
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In your Love,
through all the days of my life,
I will speak of the Light,
though I am not the light;
I will proclaim the coming of the Liberator,
though I am not the one who frees;
I will defeat the foes of my Lord,
though I am but a soldier for my Master.
I am only a voice,
yet sworn to cry out
above the blind and deaf multitudes,
for a change of hearts,
for a change of habits,
for a return to being responsible for one another,
so that your kingdom may be ushered into a new age!
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who dwells unseen in each and all of us,
yet recognized and understood only by a few,
help me to respond and to always trust
to the call of your divine love,
even as I bear my own poverty, loneliness and oppression.
Bless me always in my service
to uplift the poor, to comfort the lonely, to free the oppressed,
and to reform those who impoverish, those who alienate, those who burden.
Stay with me,
for how can I bring joy to those in need, if I myself am in need?
May I always listen and always pray to you,
ever rejoicing and thanking you for your holy presence!
And may you have mercy on my errors and weaknesses
and protect me from evil,
so that I may cherish
through and after my lifelong mission of sweat, tears and blood,
the hope of an eternity with you!
Brother Jess Matias is a professed brother of the Secular Franciscan Order. He serves as minister of the St. Pio of Pietrelcina Fraternity at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Mandaluyong City, coordinator of the Padre Pio Prayer Groups of the Capuchins in the Philippines and prison counselor and catechist for the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of LiCAS.news.