Thursday of the First Week


IS 26:1-6

MT 7:21, 24-27


Trust in God forever. That is a challenging enough invitation when our world is not facing this pandemic. However, what might it mean to trust in God's invitation to do God’s will as one offering life, healing and hope in this perilous moment? 

In May, I joined Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to support the advocacy and action of our emerging chapters anxious about the learning curve to come. I was thrilled to join a division that really saw the opportunity to effectively mobilize and harness the collective voice and action of the U.S. Catholic Church. My interest in social work and ministry seemed to perfectly collide. Six months into my role, I am amazed to see how brilliantly this model of mobilizing the Church is working while piloting it during a global pandemic. On average it takes seven years to get a piece of legislation passed, yet we’re days away from hopefully seeing the passage of the Global Child Thrive, a bill we’ve been advocating on for just over one year. Chapter members, while remaining committed to economic and racial justice in their local communities, have embraced advocating for sustainable U.S. foreign policies that work towards improving the opportunities for millions of vulnerable families overseas and mitigating the pandemic’s worst effects on vulnerable communities.

Trusting in God’s invitation to this work meant accepting the role in a time of great uncertainty. I never envisioned my work mobilizing Catholics and others to support CRS’ mission to be happening from my bedroom, and I regularly feel disconnected. However, when I am able to take the long view, I see God smiling from within this amazing work, which really amplifies the Gospel. Today’s Gospel reading summons us to an active faith in which our faith inspires our acts. As a social worker, I’m always reminded that charitable acts are the most healing outlets for those undergoing traumatic experiences. During this pandemic, I’ve witnessed many embracing work pleasing to God and have seen the life, healing and hope that comes with it. What invitation exists for you to embrace life, healing and hope during this Advent season?

Frances Casey, ’16, MSW, MA
Chapter Advocacy and Action Specialist
Catholic Relief Services