Advent calendar reflection for 13 December

Man, woman and child in field

Kelly and Raimundo working in the garden next to their home. 

“Raising his eyes Balaam saw Israel, encamped by tribes; the spirit of God came on him and he declaimed his poem.” 

Numbers 24:2

Balaam is an unusual prophet in the Old Testament. Not one of the Jewish people, he was a prophet in Moab. When the king of Moab tried to get him to curse Israel, he is suddenly filled with God’s spirit and speaks instead the remarkable blessing we hear today. His eyes are opened and he sees what the Almighty reveals to him, a vision of great hope for the future. 

Raimundo lives with his wife and children in an encampment in Brazil, and he too has hope for the future. “I have faith, real faith that everything will work out here,” he says, despite the fact he lives under threat of violent eviction from powerful land-grabbers.  

Previously they lived in the city, but high rents and low wages forced them out. On the encampment, people can live in harmony with each other, working locally and on the land to earn a living.  

Thanks to CAFOD funding, Raimundo and his community have had support from lawyers to protect their rights during eviction attempts and to gain legal rights so that they can one day make the land their permanent home where their families can produce food, live, work, play and learn in safety and with dignity.   

In this time of Advent, a gift we might all strive for is this vision of hope, learning to see the world more as God sees it. Amid all the busyness of this time of year, can we take some time to allow God to shape our vision, to renew in us our longing for the days when all will be made right in our relationships with God, with each other and with all creation. 

And then may he strengthen us to act so that this vision becomes a reality. 

Advent prayer

Gracious God,
open our eyes to your presence among us,
open our ears to hear your voice,
open our arms to welcome those around us.
Amen.

Act

Buy a Safe place to call home World Gift and give a family new hope by helping them to access the legal aid they need to secure their homes and livelihoods.  

Buy a Safe place to call home World Gift

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