Among the Lectionary readings this week we find a promise from Isaiah of God’s restoration for God’s people, Mary’s song of faith and justice, John the Baptiser’s doubts about Jesus, and a call from James for the believers to be patient in suffering. What a fascinating mix! The message is clear, though. Doubts, struggles and suffering will come, but we have a choice about our response. We can allow our doubts to get the better of us and lead us to miss God’s way, or we can affirm our faith, participate in God’s mission, and allow hope, faith and joy to sustain us.

When we consider the great challenges we face during this Advent season, this week’s message offers comfort and strength. On a personal level, many of us struggle to make ends meet, live in fear of losing our jobs, and face the temptation to do whatever it takes to survive in an unjust world. On a global level, the constant stream of news about wars, natural disasters, and the failure of leadership can tempt us to abandon hope and faith. But, as followers of Jesus we don’t have the luxury of these responses. In the face of our internal doubts, and our external challenges, we are called to keep hope alive, and to continue to live with peace, generosity, and compassion. The truth is that when we do this, we don’t only bring life to others. We find the best possible life for ourselves.

This week we explore staying hopeful and faithful in tough times.

To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click here.