HOPE is the message I garnered from today’s Mass Readings.
“Console my people, console them says the Lord.” This is a challenging invitation from the Lord to us all who are trying to be faithful to him in these critical times. He is placing his trust in us to reach out in whatever way we can to His people who are being starved of him.

Advent is above all a season of HOPE:

Long the ages rolled and slowly to the coming of the Word
Fervent longings grew more fervent , undismayed by hopes deferred
Weaker spirits sighed and whispered, could the Lord of all forget?
While the prophets scanned the portents and in patience said: Not yet.

Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the Kingdom of Heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength but on the help of the grace of the Spirit. It responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has place in every human heart; it takes up the hopes that inspire our activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of Heaven. (Catechism)

So what is the Lord asking of each one of us?
Can we by our Eucharistic Adoration and intercession stir up the hearts of our people to turn back to the Lord. Jesus is present on our altar longing to gather us and those for whom we pray into the peace, joy and blessedness of his Divine Heart; longing to set us on fire with the infinite fire of his love so that you and I can be a channel of his intimate and gracious friendship to those who have grown cold towards him. By imitating him, the Good Shepherd “feeding his flock, gathering lambs in his arms, holding them against his breast and leading to their rest the mother ewes”, we are instilling hope by our works of mercy. Through us the Lord is carrying out his promise, is being patient with all, wanting nobody to be lost and everybody to be brought to change his ways. (2Pet 3:9)

Pope Benedict tells us hope, in a Christian sense, is always hope for others as well as for myself. It is an active hope in the sense that we keep the world open to God. He recalls a book of prayers that the late Cardinal Van Thuan wrote while a prisoner for 13 years, in a situation of seemingly utter hopelessness. The fact that the Cardinal could listen and speak to God became for him an increasing power of hope and enabled him after his release to become for people all over the world a Witness to Hope, by his writings. (Spe Salvi)