By Fr. Bernard Holzer, aa
It’s amazing to notice that Pope Francis, who often says that the Church is not a NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), chose for December a prayer intention for volunteer not-for-profit organizations! He said :
“We pray that volunteer non-profit organizations committed to human development find people dedicated to the common good and ceaselessly seek out new paths to international cooperation.”
These organizations seek to fulfill the promises of the prophets that we meditate on during this Advent Season and that Jesus himself repeats:
“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.” (Luc 7: 22)
But Jesus does not just repeat the prophets, he puts their message into action, as St. Luke recounts in his Gospel:
“At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits; he also granted sight to many who were blind.” (Luc 7: 21)
As signs that he is "the one who is to come," Jesus does not mention the worship but the fulfillment of the promises of the prophets.
As Christmas approaches, as we celebrate God's coming among us, let us support those who work with the blind, the deaf, the sick, the suffering, the marginalized. Let us support those who go to the peripheries and pray for them. They are God's hands, the signs of his presence among us!