The lowly will find increasing joy in the Lord;
and those most in need will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 29: 19
The Advent readings from the prophet Isaiah are filled with hope, often a hope for that poor: they will find joy and salvation in the Lord.
All too often I think we hope for things for ourselves and miss the community sense of hope. Hope is not something I can just get on my own. It needs the loving hand of God and the presence of a community.
We are social creatures and need others. When we really hope for something we don’t sit back and just wait for it.
Hope is an expectant waiting, like a pregnant mother, who gets ready for the coming of a child into the world. And mothers know that they need others to help them bring new life into the world.
So too we should prepare ourselves and the world for the coming of the Lord – and in the course of that help bring joy and hope to the neediest among us.
Yesterday I spent the morning in a rural village that was initiating a water project that Caritas had managed, with the help of money from Holland. The people were organized, worked hard together, and now had water they could drink out of the faucet.
This is a poor community, seemingly without resources. But their faith, their sense of community, and their efforts to work together had made clean, drinkable water a reality (with the help of a good bit of money).
The celebration was filled with joy – Mass, blessing of the new water tank, skits, songs written by community members, and food.
There was joy for the neediest there – thanks be to God. Let us find ways this Advent to see the joy the Lord brings and share it with the neediest among us.
More photos from the event can be found here,