Rejoice in humanity’s regeneration, through the Spirit of the Lord, who is faithful to his promises.
In the gospel according to John, the Baptist announces the coming of the promised Messiah. Indeed, although we do not recognise him, he is already in our midst. During his ministry Jesus will clearly announce that the kingdom of God is already here (cf. Luke 17:21). We do not need to wait for Jesus’ second coming. The problem is that often we find it difficult to recognise him.
Often, when we think of our meeting with Christ we can be caught up in a sense of fear. As we approach the liturgical celebration of the first coming of Jesus, which also points us towards his final coming, we are invited to rejoice. For those who are faithful, the Lord’s coming is a moment of healing and celebration. Isaiah proclaims that the Lord is coming to set prisoners free and to heal those who are sick.
If we remain faithful, we will be the ones who will be benefitting from this joyous return on the Lord.
Joseph De Piro believed in the Lord’s faithfulness and this was the energy that kept him strong in his own faith in God, as is witnessed in this speech on the opening of the first part fo the Jesus of Nazareth Orphanage, Zejtun, on 16th July 1930.
“Your Grace, more than five years have gone by since we were blessed by heaven through your solemn dedication of the foundation stone of this building. These five years have been strewn with moments of despair and moments of hope…. The work for this vast project, which is not yet complete, had been initiated. When work started, our books indicated that we had no money to work with. Yet, with great determination, we started building. As anticipated, the work had to stop. It was very painful for us to see this interruption after such a determined start. Yet we were certain that our sacrifices would not go unrewarded. Our empty coffers forced us to look up to heaven in prayer, and our appeal was accepted.
After this interruption, which, although brief, to us looked like an eternity, the sound of workmen’s tools rang in our ears like bells tolling. The foundations were laid, followed by the first layers of bricks. This time we thought we could put our mind at rest as the first page of our books showed an income of 70 pounds Sterling! However, soon realised we were none the wiser! The Lord soon showed us that the expense would total more than 4,000 pounds.
Now that we have overcome our troubles, we can put the past behind us and feel a sense of satisfaction. Our duty now is to praise the Lord who has been so faithful to us. He was always aware of our needs, and has stood beside us as we progressed on our small project, fully aware that we could not have succeeded without his help.”
This strong belief in the Lord’s faithfulness to his promises must have filled De Piro with peace and, undoubtedly, joy!