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Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent

Mary M. Chimy, Associate

I am Mary M. Chimy, Associate from Region Notre-Dame-des-Apôtres (Cameroon) since 2007, a single mum of two sons aged 22 and 15

Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 61:1-2A, 10-11; Psalm 126 or Luke 1:46b-551 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28

“The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners,” (Isaiah 61:1) Only the spirit of God can help us to teach and to be teachable in this time of global unrest due to COVID-19, chronic illnesses, climate change, natural disasters, racism, injustice, boko harram, ambazonians... Without God’s spirit, our teaching cannot bring life to the wounded world. Without humility we cannot be teachable. To be baptized is a blessing. God’s spirit is not out of me but in me. What a great love to mankind.

 “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked upon his lowly servant. (Luke 61:46-48). Yes, God has looked upon me, upon you and our families. When I had a new appointment, my son decided to stay in Ngaoundere for studies. With his poor health condition, it was not easy for us. Sisters, priests, Associates, medical staff, friends, colleagues, and relatives joined to give helping hands by prayers, presence, counsel and financial assistance. That spirit of God in us is stronger than illness, economic vulnerability, failure. The solidarity of many has sustained us. We are grateful for what God is doing every day. COVID-19 is sometimes seen as punishment from God by many but it is bringing a great transformation in the world. For us in Cameroon particularly in my ministry, there is no rest. We prepare lessons for distance learning.  God’s spirit is inspiring workers from all professions to do things differently.  Jesus is already in the world though he is still to come to change us according to his secret plan. I see God everywhere-- in schools, in the taxi, when the day is sunny and warm or rainy and cold. 

“He has filled the hungry with good things,” (Luke 61:53) In the morning, I always do some spiritual reading or attend Mass where I’m nourished body, spirit and soul. Though I’m among the privileged worker in my country, I was always like a jobless person. I hardly manage my monthly income. Sometimes before I receive my salary, I’ve already spent it all for health care. Today, there is a breakthrough, many things are changing in my life in this hard time. God is making it possible for me to cope corporally, spiritually and to care for loved ones. I used to feel guilty when reading some passage of Magnificat such as “He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty”. Having a good job, a family, I’ve realized that our possession do not save us from the calamity of this world. The only true safety is Jesus who is always present in death, suffering, joy, birth and life challenges. I confidently wait for him.  Sometimes, life’s challenges keep us blind and let us be in darkness even though we are baptized. God’s spirit is in us. I went for a Covid19 test last week. I received a questionnaire asking me if I’ve been in contact with a crowd or with people less than a meter of distance for more than 15 minutes for the last 14 days. Every day I spend at least 45 minutes in an overloaded car. Almost every month I spend time with my son in the hospital. It is difficult to keep physical distancing in my country. Natural disasters and illnesses will end but God’s spirit is eternal. Though some people are trying to destroy our common home, there are generous people in the world who are working day and night for the restoration of our common home. Love is stronger and will conquer evil. We are call to respect hygiene, wear masks, and avoid physical contact to eliminate the pandemic. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says abstain from every form of evil. 

I’ll end with this prayer that reminds us that nothing can take away the spirit we have received. “May the God of peace make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Isaiah 61:23)

 

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