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As you know one of the values of the Capuchin Mission is that of “joyful service”. It may mean different things to different people, but I like what it says it means, “Respectfully addressing people’s needs, transforming all.” The Apostle Paul writes to us in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “God loves a cheerful giver.” This is one of my favorite passages of Scriptures, because it reminds us that when we give of our time, self, money or whatever, we should be happy to do it. Not grudgingly or unhappily, but pleasing God by being happy to give.
Last Friday, one of our mothers came visiting near the end of the day. After a brief conversation she asked if I could help her with a few dollars for food as her cupboard was bare. “Not a drop of food in the house.”
For several years now at the Meldrum site of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen we have tried to really focus on the weeks of Advent (the forty days leading up to Christmas) as a time of expectancy, hope, and waiting. The tree enjoys a place of prominence in the dining room, but undecorated and unlighted. The scripture readings from the Prophet Isaiah used at prayer sessions are filled with hope and longing for a better life, not only for the people of biblical times, but for our Soup Kitchen guests as well. We try to counter the commercial frenzy of the season with an emphasis on cleansing our hearts and making room for the coming of our God.
May God give you peace! Christmas hope and joy to you in these exciting, and sometimes stressful, days before Dec. 25th!
At most of our sites, these days present more challenges than usual with the holiday hype we experience all around us. Do you find it hard to be patient? On my desk, I have a card entitled: “Ten Ways to deal with Stress.”
Meanwhile, as we think about the season and its meaning, I’d like to offer a thought that comes out of one of our recent prayer sessions at Meldrum. The theme that day came from Matthew’s gospel story of the 10 talents that a master gave to each of three servants. He later came back to see what they did with what he gave them. Our question for discussion from the gospel story was: “What talent do you appreciate within yourself?