1st Week of Advent, Saturday, Dec 5

 Isaiah 30:19-21, 25-26 / Matthew 9:35 - 10:1, 6-8

 When you cry out, he will answer you. The harvest is great, "Send workers to gather it in. "

Kate Drexel came from a wealthy Philadelphia family. While riding about the city, she saw the tragic plight of black children living in hideous slum conditions. In her reading she learned about the plight black children in the South and of Native American children in the West. Moved to pity, Kate founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament to work among these children. Before Mother Katherine Drexel died at age 97, she spent nearly $20 million of her own personal fortune to care for and educate blacks and Indians. Today, her order continues her work.


How are we using our gifts and talents to further the harvest of God's kingdom? "Do what you can with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt


We may compare prayer to plugging a floor lamp into an electric outlet. The power that lights the lamp doesn’t come from our action of plugging the lamp into the outlet. It comes from the power that can now flow through the wire because of our action of plugging it in. It’s the same with the power that flows into our lives when we pray.  It comes not from the prayers we say but from God with whom prayer places us in contact. Just as an electric outlet doesn’t reach out and plug a lamp into itself, neither does God force us to make contact with him.  It’s up to us to contact him when we need help.

That’s the way God decided to set up the world.


How strongly do we believe God’s Word in today’s reading, when he says that he will answer us when we cry out to him?

“The reality of prayer can be proved only by praying” Sherwood Eddy


We are always attracted to this phrase: Free of charge!   Of course, we would rather be receiving it than to be giving it. Indeed, we get a spurt of happiness whenever we get something free, and more so when it is something valuable. As we think about it, let us also reflect about the free and valuable things that God has given us daily - the warm sunshine, the rain, the fresh air, the cool evening, the beautiful moon, etc. Most of all, the life that is beating in our hearts and the love that we experience around us. All these are certainly blessings from God. But what if God were to charge us for His blessings?  What if God were to charge us for the help He gave us, for the times He saved us from trouble and danger, for healing us when we were sick? But God doesn't need our money nor does He want us to pay Him back anything. God is all loving and generous and merciful and compassionate. Furthermore, it is out of His great love for us that He created us in His image and likeness.    Jesus, the greatest gift from God wants us to know this and that is why He said in today's gospel: You received without charge, give without charge.  It is not just about the material blessings that we have received from God that we are called to share without charge with others. Our greatest treasures are in our heart, and in there are the gifts of love, care, compassion, forgiveness, patience, understanding and all the blessings that God has given us free of charge. Let us share these gifts and blessings without charge with the others around us. That will be one way of preparing to celebrate Christmas, because at Christmas we celebrate the greatest gift of God.    We celebrate the gift of Jesus, who was given to us free of charge.


Let us Pray: God of mercy and compassion, in your Son, Jesus Christ, you have revealed yourself as a God of people. Turn our empty hearts to you, give us eyes to see the depth of our poverty and our inability to build a better world with our own resources, and then come and build it with us through your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ, our Lord.