Advent 2017

Third Monday of Advent - December 18th

Jer 23: 5-8 / Ps 72: 1-2, 12-13, 18-19 / Mt 1: 18-25

Today’s readings are a fortuitous blend of common and relevant themes from the teachings of St. Augustine (the importance of COMMUNITY) and Pope Francis (the importance of MERCY).  The first reading starts with “says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart”, it then highlights the need for us to work as a community, and concludes with “the Lord … took pity on his people”.  The responsorial psalm asks God for mercy as we acknowledge that we are all sinners, and in the second reading we are told that salvation can be achieved by working together.  

We are blessed to work within the community of the Order of St. Augustine.  We need to follow the friars’ example in our daily lives.  Ask yourself if you have done all that you can to improve and strengthen your communities … your Family, your Friends, and your Colleagues.  I surmise that we all have room for improvement on all fronts.

All communities experience conflict.  We may have experienced an unreasonable family member, or friendship that has had a difficulty, or a disagreement with a colleague.  These conflicts cause us personal strife and turmoil, and they also negatively impact the wellness of our communities.  Today’s readings provide us with a path to improving our communities and ourselves … MERCY.  

This is an important lesson that I must constantly remind myself, as my first reaction tends not to be mercy and forgiveness when conflict arises within my own communities.  Take time during lent to reflect on your communities and note where you can demonstrate an act of mercy for the betterment of your community.  You will reap the rewards.  

As you act in kindness, heed Matthew’s words from today’s gospel; “do not let your left hand know what your right is doing”.  Whether it is righteous deeds, prayer, or fasting Matthew tells us “your Father who sees in secret will repay you”.  

David W. Dinehart
Civil and Environmental Engineering