"In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” - Isaiah 40:3
It’s that time of year again—Advent wreaths are lit and families come together for the holiday; most importantly, however, we are in the midst of a new liturgical year during which we are offered the opportunity to take spiritual inventory and more fully usher in the Lord’s message. This season of Advent calls us to reflect, prepare, and renew our dedication to the Word. For those of us at CLINIC, this season is a chance to restore our commitment to the principles guiding us both personally and professionally.
Reflecting on today’s scripture reading from Isaiah (40:1-11), I am encouraged with a fresh perspective on the faith that shapes our mission at CLINIC. Our network of community organizations upholds the dignity of clients and builds solidarity with our human family. Although these non-profits may rely on limited resources and cater to local populations, as a network, our collaborative support for God’s immigrant children is made stronger.
Advent not only calls us to reflect upon our faith but also to prepare to welcome the Lord through action. As a CLINIC family, our network of charitable legal immigration service providers may meet the unprecedented demands of comprehensive immigration reform in the coming year, consider new advocacy priorities, or build programmatic capacity. We are reminded that looking to our Christ-centered mission, vision, and values makes us better poised to support the needs of our affiliates and that these exercises may reaffirm our commitment to welcoming vulnerable newcomers in the year to come.
With reflection and preparation, I am hopeful that we at CLINIC may embark on this Advent season with enhanced perspective and restored purpose. Furthermore, I pray that our messages and actions, no matter how small, are multiplied to impact national policy so that someday, displaced people and immigrants living in the margins of society may find a pathway to the God-given protections and respect every human life deserves.
*Tessa M. Winkler is the Public Education Officer for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)