When seeing life through the eyes of the news media, one may well feel tempted to despair. In contrast to that view, today is, for us, Gaudete (rejoicing) Sunday. The Entrance Antiphon (Philippians 4: 4-5), “Rejoice in the Lord always…the Lord is near”, the rose-coloured Advent Candle and Father’s vestments remind us that, amidst the trials and tribulations of life and the penitential purple of Advent with its imperative to be cleansed of our sins, we must also look with joyful hope towards not only our celebration of the arrival of the promised Saviour two thousand years ago but also, the day when “Christ will come again” as our Loving and Merciful Judge. On that day, the ravages of Sin will be swept away and perseverance in faithfulness to God will carry us into Heaven!
Isaiah (61:1-2, 10-11) rejoices in the Good News he is called to bring of Christ’s coming to heal the wounds of Original Sin, news which moves him to ”…exult for joy in the Lord..”.
Through the response to the Psalm (Luke 1:46-50, 53-54, response Isaiah 61:10) “My soul rejoices in my God”, we join in with Our Lady’s joyous Magnificat, a hymn of praise of God, uttered in response to her cousin, Elizabeth’s, praise of “… she who believed…” in the Father’s promise of a Saviour.
We each need to examine our conscience and see where we stand when, in the media, out and about, at work or even among friends and Family, we may hear the Church’s Teachings ‘watered down’ or opposed outright. Today, one may not, in this country, lose one’s life but one’s livelihood or freedom might well be at stake if one stands up, for instance, for God’s Created Order! Living according to our Faith and, in charity, correcting error might even, alarmingly, see us accused of being in breach of the laws of the land! Our Holy Father, though, has made our duty abundantly clear to us!
Just in case we feel unsure as to how to tackle such issues, here is another book well worth adding to your Catholic library. It is called “A Shepherd Speaks”, written by Fabian Bruskewitz, Bishop Emeritus of Lincoln, Nebraska. This book is published by Ignatius Press, a faithful Catholic publisher. It is, as the covernote by another feisty Catholic writer, Scott Hahn, says, about “…the meaning of the Catholic faith in today’s world and how to live it.” Well recommended and very readable.
“Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle…”
Thoughts on the traditional teachings, devotions, seasons and matters of the Catholic Church