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Gaudete Sunday

December 15, 2013

Reflection

 

Today is the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday. We like to call it Joy Sunday.

Take a moment and ask yourself: What is Joy and do we need it?  We are not speaking of the joy you have because all the Christmas shopping is completed or have found the perfect gift. We are referring to Joy of the Lord and in the Lord.  Did someone promise that the Christian life would be easy?  Just look at the lives of the Holy Men and Women, the Saints and the Martyrs the Apostles and the first followers of Christ. Joy in all circumstances was one of St. Paul’s secrets.  Only through prayer can that type of joy be achieved.

 

We are especially full of Joy on this Sunday at St. Agatha.  On this Joy Sunday, we will worship as one community. On this day we are having a Unity Mass, an opportunity to celebrate with Joy 90 years of St. Agatha Parish, a community that is constantly changing and growing. Let us move forward in joy and unity. “Gaudete Domino Semper” Rejoice in the Lord Always.

 

Thought Question

 

Ask yourself how can I feel joy by making an Acronym of the word joy. It stands for Just Open Your _____________(you fill in the blank)

What have I done lately to bring unity in my community? Community is your family, work, church, etc....

 

Prayer

 

Lord and Father of us all, show us how to be joyful and rejoice in all things. Help us to see You working for us and with us during life’s challenges. Let us be beacons and bearers of joy and unity in the world.   Amen

 

By Michelle and Eddie Hilley

 

 

Readings

 

Reading 1 IS 35:1-6A, 10

 

The desert and the parched land will exult;
the steppe will rejoice and bloom.
They will bloom with abundant flowers,
and rejoice with joyful song.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to them,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the hands that are feeble,
make firm the knees that are weak,
say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
with divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.

Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return
and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
they will meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning will flee.

 

Responsorial Psalm PS 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10

 

R. (cf. Is 35:4) Lord, come and save us.
or:
R. Alleluia.


The LORD God keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.

The LORD gives sight to the blind;
the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
The LORD loves the just;
the LORD protects strangers.

The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations.


 

Reading 2 JAS 5:7-10

 

Be patient, brothers and sisters,
until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, 
being patient with it
until it receives the early and the late rains.
You too must be patient.
Make your hearts firm,
because the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another, 
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

 

Gospel MT 11:2-11

 

When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, 
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question, 
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply, 
“Go and tell John what you hear and see: 
the blind regain their sight, 
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed, 
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”

As they were going off,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, 
“What did you go out to the desert to see?
A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine clothing?
Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.
Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women 
there has been none greater than John the Baptist; 
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

Tags: amen, fill in the blank, heart, just open your, joy, unity mass, 90th anniversary, rejoice, gaudete, gaudete sunday, online advent retreat, advent retreat

Comments

Fr. Bill  |  Los Angeles  |  December 16, 2013  |  12:16 PM

It's already Monday morning, and instead of going into the office on time, I'm procrastinating by writing something for yesterday's Advent Retreat reflection. Thank you, Michelle and Eddie, for writing on JOY, and thank you both for your work on yesterday's JOYFUL 90th anniversary celebration for our parish community. Those of you who were there, will know of what I speak when I speak of the joyfulness of that Mass. My favorite part was the entrance procession--all the countries, cultures, ethnicities and colors that make us up! And all of them dancing and singing their way up the aisle. It was a Latin-Caribbean-African-Mediterranean joyfulness that pulled in all the more staid Northern Europeans into a smiling, laughing delightful celebration of the marvelous exuberance of God--Who made us all, loved us all into being, and brought us all together in this tiny little parish church, which was packed to the rafters, with overflow outside on both sides of the church. I thought, as I stood with the Bishop, and looked out over all the radiant faces, "God creates such varied beauty, and such wild diversity, and takes such JOY in all of it." And we gave Him proper thanks, did we not? Thanks to everyone who made that celebration such a wonderful experience of God's Grace, and such a profound preparation for the celebration of Chrsitmas.


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