Advent calendar prayer and reflection for 9 December
People of Zion, you will live in Jerusalem and weep no more.
Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26
In today’s reading, Isaiah paints a picture of hope and solace for a people who are longing to return home. We read that light will outshine all darkness, “on the day the Lord dresses the wound of his people”.
Many of us carry heavy burdens. Today, let us remember the most vulnerable of our sisters and brothers who are crying out for hope.
Salwa, 35, lives with her elderly mother-in-law and her children in Jordan. She fled Syria after her home was destroyed by the bombs.
“We used to have a house,” Salwa remembers. “We were happy in that life. Life was calm.”
Now, Salwa struggles to provide for her children. The family live in one small room and sleep on mats on the floor. Salwa had no choice but to pull her eldest son, Ahmed, out of school at 12 years old so he could earn money for the family.
Ahmed’s mother worries about how hard her son works. She says, “He isn’t happy at all. Sometimes when he goes to work he is weeping. I feel very depressed thinking about him, but what can I do? This is the only way for us to survive.”
The light of hope
We are called by our faith not to turn our backs on God’s suffering people.
Cardinal Louis Antonio Tagle, President of Caritas Internationalis, invites us to look into the eyes of our sisters and brothers.
“When you encounter them,” the Cardinal says, “you see that children are just like any children who are hungry and get tired. And you see that mothers and fathers running away from war are just like our own fathers and mothers who long for a peaceful life for their children. With this, we will see a way by which we can be of service to each other.”
Your actions and prayers are giving Salwa hope. “We are grateful for your concerns,” she tells us. “I hope the conditions will be better and my children will have better lives.”
Loving God, healer of the broken-hearted, move us to hear the cry of our sisters and brothers who are living in darkness. Help us to work together for a better world, bringing the light of your hope to all. Amen.
Please stand alongside our neighbours who are searching for a better life.