On the Second Sunday of Advent, the Responsorial Psalm expresses a deep desire for the day when “justice and peace shall kiss.”
In their humble circumstances, Juan and Rafaela Lopez long for this day of justice and peace. For example, there is no justice in the family having to live in a flimsy wooden shack that can’t even keep out the rain. And there is no justice if Juan and his son, Leonardo, must work in the fields for 10 hours a day just to earn a total of $10.
Despite these terrible hardships, Juan and his family of five want to live out the message of Psalm 85 each day, so they try to fill their humble home with peace. With the help of her 13-year-old daughter Doris, Rafaela lovingly prepares meals on the family’s wood-burning stove, and at lunchtime, her 11-year-old son, Roby, walks two miles each way to deliver meals to his dad and older brother at the farm.
Rafaela knows that the family’s need is so great that only the Lord can deliver them. “We want for God’s will, and we ask him to send people to give donations for houses.”
The day of Jesus’ return will indeed be the day when “justice and peace shall kiss,” and the struggles of poor families will be over. Until then, the Lord blesses the suffering through the Church! By coming together in love as the Body of Christ on earth, we can bring a day of justice and peace to the Lopez.
Psalm 85:9-14 (NRSVCE)
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other. Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky. The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.
Create a Thankfulness Chain to foster an attitude of gratitude. Begin by cutting construction paper or other paper into one-inch strips. Throughout Advent, whenever you notice something in your home to be grateful for, write it (or ask a parent to help write it) on one of the strips and then loop it around another strip. When the strip is glued, taped or stapled together, you begin to form a circle. Add to it throughout Advent, making a Thankfulness Chain.
Materials needed: Scissors • Glue • Tape/Stapler • Paper • Marker or pen
For every five people in Guatemala over age 15, one of them has not learned to read or write. Without education, people cannot find higher-paying jobs — and without better jobs, they cannot afford safer homes for their families.
Poor living conditions can make it difficult for children like Doris and Roby to finish school. Many boys and girls are unable to sleep through the night as rainwater soaks their beds and damages their few school supplies. Without a safe place to rest and study, some students fall behind in class and quit going to school altogether.
*Fact Source: CIA World Factbook, World Bank.
1. Think about your home or apartment. Remember how safe you felt in a storm, or how cozy it is to sleep on a clean bed at night. List some things you like about your home and take a moment to thank God for them.
2. If you had no money or tools, what kinds of items would you use to build a home? You can only use materials that you might find outside or at the local junkyard.
Dear Father, thank you for our homes, and thank you for the chance to learn more about the needs of other families. As we work to help families in Guatemala, please help us feel your love for the poor and share your love with them.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2024, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.