As we began this great season of Advent, I reminded our people of the fact that we are children of the promise, rooted in that unique relationship that the Father has established with us in Christ Jesus. He shares with us that relationship of life, the redemption that we found necessary for that relationship of holiness to continue, the blessings that sustain us on our journey, and the vision of eternal life with him that is our destiny.
Today I shared the reality of those countless blessings, flowing from his love and found in his sharing of blessings, giftedness, love and virtues that bring us into the divine. One of those virtues is the gift of Faith.
Faith is something that we have been given and are called to embrace. Faith in God, in his love and mercy, in his call to be one with him in his Church, in our call to holiness. We are men and women of faith. But there is the flip side of that coin of faith ... and that is God's faith in us. Despite the lack of foundation upon which to base that faith, God does have faith in us. He never gives up on us, he never fails to see the good within, the potential for growth, he never fails to love us "to life". That is why we can hear in the prophet Baruch this morning words that speak of a restoration for his people. That is why he gave words of strength and encouragement to the voice of John in the desert to prepare a straight path for his coming. That is why we can see and use this time of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ as a preparation of our lives for his immediate and immense presence, now and at the time of fulfillment.
Creator God, we are filled with light and life. We are your creation. Stay with us and allow us to be worthy of the faith and trust that you place in us. Let us be signs to each other and to all of creation of your holy presence.
On this feast of Saint Nicholas, I hope that all found blessings and gifts in their shoes or stocking. As I told the youngsters, I know that Santa is always grateful for the example of love and kind generosity that Saint Nicholas provided at this time of Jesus' birth.