Scripture Reading (Luke 1: 23-24):

“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 

For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, 

and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it. 


Fr. Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan was imprisoned by the Community government in Vietnam.  For 13 years, he was on a camp where he experienced solitary confinement designed to break him down.  Later, he revealed that the greatest torment is not from the suffering but his inability to minister to his people in his Diocese.

He heard a voice saying tohim, “Why do you torment yourself like this?  You must distinguish God and the works of God.  Everything you have done and desire to continue doing (for others) are God’s works, but they are not God!

If God wants you to leave all these works, do it right away and have faith in him!”

Fr. Nguyen said, “To choose God and not the works of God, is the foundation of the Christian life in every age.”

We, as followers of Christ, make the sad mistake of over extending our energies  in the works of God at the expense of a personal relationship with God and His Savior Son.

If God wants you to leave all of these works, do it right away and have faith in him.


Dear God, enlighten me with Your will regarding the mission you have entrusted me.  Help me to distinguish Your works versus You, My God, who created Me and Your people.  Grant me the grace to carry out the responsibilities of my vocation but not lose track of Your love for me.  Help me to find You in the people in front of me today.  Help me not to forget You over the works we do for you.  You are the focus of my life.  Grant me the grace to put my relationship with you first.

Excerpts taken from the booklet, “Advent and Christmas”, Waiting in Joyful Hope,  by Genevieve Glen and Jerome Kodell.

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