English Español Mary Immaculate
Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

The Prison of Want

Third Sunday of Advent

As we get closer to Christmas, I would like to share with you a chapter of one of my favorite Christian writers, Max Lucado who in his book Traveling Light, states that there is a prison in the world that is over crowded. This prison is so oppressive that most of the inmates never leave; never escape; never get release. Lucado refers not to a physical prison, but a prison that is in the mind. What is this prison? you may ask. It is the prison of WANT. Its inmates are always “in want” of something. A new house, a new car, new spouse, something bigger, nicer, faster or with a popular brand. They don’t want much, they just want. Are you in this prison? You are if you feel better when you have more and worse when you have less. I think the worst thing of this prison is that we ended up wanting the things we cant have and buying the things we don’t need. Yes we may be content for a while and then this indescribable and depressive emptiness inside of us.


Let me ask you something, what is the one thing that keeps away from joy; from being happy; from being complete? Just think for a moment and fill in the blank: “I will be happy when___________” When I am healed, rich, promoted, married. But, what if what if that never happens or takes a while to happen? will you be unhappy? then, you are in the cold cell prison of discontent. I invite you to count your blessings, to be grateful for all what we already have. This Sunday we celebrate Gaudate Dominum, which means Joy Sunday which invites us to rejoice in the Lord always! Can leukemia infect your salvation, can bankruptcy can take away our inheritance in heaven? Let us make Jesus our King, the center of our lives. He is the one who can give real sense and fulfilment of our lives; not what we wear, not what we have. Let us make ours the words of David the psalmist. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Now try saying it slowly. “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” One more time, “The Lord is my Shepheard; I shall not want” Shhhhss. Did you hear something? I think I Did. I am not sure…but I think I heard the opening of a jail door.

Readings for the Week

  • Monday: Zec 2:14-17 or Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab; Jdt 13:18bcde, 19; Lk 1:26-38 or Lk 1:39-47, or any readings from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, nos. 707-712
  • Tuesday: Zep 3:1-2, 9-13; Ps 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-19, 23; Mt 21:28-32
  • Wednesday: Is 45: 6b-8, 18, 21b-25; Ps 85:9ab, 10-14; Lk 7:18b-23
  • Thursday: Is 54:1-10; Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-12a, 13b; Lk 7:24-30
  • Friday: Is 56:1-3a, 6-8; Ps 67:2-3, 5, 7-8; Jn 5:33-36
  • Saturday: Gn 49:2, 8-10; Ps 72:1-4ab, 7-8, 17; Mt 1:1-17
  • Sunday: Is 7:10-14; Ps 24:1-6; Rom 1:1-7; Mt 1:18-24

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