Is 61:1-2a, 10-11
1 Thes 5:16-24
Jn 1:6-8, 19-28
These words of Isaiah found in the first reading of today’s Mass are the same words Jesus used when he began his ministry in the synagogue of his youth. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, a spirit that gives me voice to speak good news to the afflicted, voice to soothe the broken hearted, voice to call captives to liberty to, a voice to release those in whatever prison they may find themselves.
The same Spirit and the same gifts are given to us when we received the Sacrament of Confirmation. St. Paul teaches that the gifts of the Spirit are not for us alone. They are to be shared and used for the building up of the Body of Christ, the Church. Baptism makes us the received of gifts but Confirmation makes us the doer or deeds.
In this season of Advent we can wonder are we using the Spirit’s gift as means of preparing ourselves to receive God’s greatest gift Emmanuel, God with us. Do we speak the good news of God becoming one with us, embracing our humanity? Do we take the time to sooth the broken hearted, those good people for whom Christmas is the darkest time of the year? Are we willing to free ourselves from our need to shop til we drop because we find ourselves captivated by consumerism?
We can pray for ourselves and for each other that God’s gracious Spirit enlighten our minds and hearts to prepare the way of the Lord into all our lives.
Father Paul Cusack, C.P. is the pastor of St. Gabriel Passionist Parish in Toronto, Canada.