Monday, December 11, 2006

Advent Reflections by Jim Balquist

By Jim Balquist

With the coming of Christ comes hope. While injustice is often highlighted in the stories that make our newspapers (if it bleeds, it leads), we also see hope...Like the hope reflected in the Nobel Peace prize recipient who developed and implemented microfinance tools to even the playing field and provide loans and other financial services to those in poverty - - - with great success. The article I read noted that "Poverty is a threat to peace and if poverty was a disease, then microcredit would be the best vaccine." Apparently the Nobel Prize Committee agreed.

Then there is the story of four families moving into homes resulting from Habitat for Humanity - - - and Kancetta Jones who, abandoned as a child and shuttled through foster services, at age 19 is now living alone (with the help and support of a local non-profit), working hard, looking forward to college, and incredibly, finding time volunteer at a Santa Clara child abuse shelter!

We see the presence of Christ in these stories - - but not the physical presence. In these stories, Christ is with us, in us, and His work is accomplished through us. Perhaps that is the hope we celebrate in this season.

Note: Jim Balquist is the Social Justice Liaison for St. Lawrence the Martyr Parish in Santa Clara. Jim is a graduate of the Institute for Leadership in Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose and is a Master Catechist. Jim and Ann, his wife, are members of the parish social justice committee. Jim writes a weekly column for the Parish Bulletin. Thank you, Jim for your contribution!


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