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  • Writer's pictureFr. Rich Miserendino

2nd week of Advent

Saint John the Baptist was probably a sight to behold. Scripture says “John was

clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild

honey.” He also lived out in the desert wilderness far from civilization, a hike for anyone

who wanted to see him. Yet our Gospel for this Second Sunday of Advent tells us that

people flocked to go see him and hear the message that he preached.

What did John have to offer? Certainly not an easy life of comfort. Rather, he offered a

real message of peace, truth, redemption, and a promise that something better was at

hand in the form of a Savior, if only we are willing to repent and seek it out. Equally

important - he offered this message with sincerity and personal investment. After all,

the guy living on bugs and honey in the desert dressed in a camel-hair toga probably

isn’t in it for the paycheck or the creature comforts. He has skin in the game. John was

all-in: He lived faith and repentance in a way that made him eccentric by some

measures, but electric and inspiring by all others. When people saw John, they knew

the Savior was coming, and he meant it with every fibre of his being.

As you might have guessed, Porto Charities is all-in for a good cause as we prepare for

our Lord. As we work with our partners and benefactors to make Catholic education

more accessible and inclusive to all, we know it takes sacrifice, commitment, patience,

love and sincerity. Inclusion in our schools and workplaces often takes unconventional

thinking and new arrangements, too, which can be challenging but also inspiring. But

like John the Baptist, we share a message of hope for a better future and mean it.

We’re grateful to all our partners who help us spread that inspiration.

However, this week’s Gospel presents us each with a challenge: Are we all-in for Jesus,

too? Is our faith sincere? What does the witness of our life look like? Often, we look at

our schedule and see where we can try to fit Jesus in. But what if we started with a

different, more unconventional approach? What if we made 10-20 minutes of prayer a

daily priority, and arranged all else around it? Sure, it would take sacrifice. But like

John the Baptist, we’d also be more alive and inspiring. And moreover, God would use

that time to do so much more. After all, God is never outdone in generosity.

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