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Third Sunday of Advent – Cycle B

16 December 2017

Reflecting on Isaiah 61: 1-2a, 10-11

I get the best ideas from my friends. Last year my wonderful friend Julie shared with me how nice Thanksgiving was at their house because she laid out bags, water bottles, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and McDonald’s gift certificates on the dessert table. After everyone had enjoyed the pumpkin pie, they carefully filled their bags with goodies to hand out to the people standing on the street corners.

What a great idea. I tried it with my family and they loved it, so we did it again this year and will do it for Christmas too. That little holiday discipline reminds me of Isaiah’s “anointed one” who is sent to do all the hard things: heal the brokenhearted, release prisoners, and bring glad tidings to those who are poor.

It’s the little things, really, that advance the kingdom. The person who knows no brokenhearted people is the person who is living a deeply isolated life. I’ll bet each person reading this could name at least a dozen people struggling with a broken heart right this minute. And guess what? We’re the ones God has anointed to heal them.

There are a number of ministries in the Church that address the spiritual needs of those in prison, and those ministries depend on us―God’s anointed ones―to do the corporal work of mercy of visiting those in prison.

I have friends who easily engage those who stand on the sidewalk carrying a sign. They offer a warm smile, and always ask the person’s name. They never give money, but they thoughtfully keep a small bag of helpful items for them. For some, a toothbrush can bring glad tidings better than a ten-dollar bill.

What special work do you feel “anointed” to carry out?

Kathy McGovern ©2017

Advent - Cycle B

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