Is 35: 1-6a. 10 Today is sometimes called Gaudete Sunday, or Joyful Sunday as we anticipate the birth of Jesus by a week or so. Listen to the joyful and light-hearted tones of this reading and try to enter into that spirit! We know that the beginning of the end of the work of salvation is about to commence with the birth of Jesus our Savior. It is indeed a good enough reason to be thankful and joyful of heart.

Holy Spirit, help me to focus my mind and heart on the life of grace you promise us all through the gift of salvation you offer to us. Let me live in joy all the days of my life.

Jas 5: 7-10 Conversion, like all good things in life, rarely happens immediately. It more often than not takes time and effort on our part, as well as the grace of God to cement the changes into our lives. This is a good thing as a ‘handout mentality’ is never a good thing to develop – it is good we have to cooperate with the grace of God for it to be truly effective in our lives. This is why Aquinas tells us that grace does not operate in a vacuum but requires nature, something of substance such as a willing soul, to work with when it comes to bringing salvation to us all.

Holy Spirit, help me to be as cooperative as possible with the grace of God in my life so that I will be better able to receive the fullness of all that God offers me.

Mt 11: 2-11 Jesus lists a whole lot of things that were traditionally associated with the coming of the Messiah. In other words, he is telling the disciples of John that he is the Messiah and that John no longer has top await his coming! The Jews still await the Messiah’s coming as they believe that Jesus is only a prophet! Maybe they will recognize him when he comes again in glory – for Christians, his Second Coming. Let us all pray that they will!

Jesus, you have come and redeemed us; you will come again to consummate our redemption and take us all to be with you in heaven. Help me to prepare well for your Second Coming.