11 December 2015

Gaudete Sunday!

Readings Here

So who is this crazy guy that speaks of one mightier than he?  What does he mean by baptizing with fire and the Holy Spirit?  Do you think he may be on something?  Maybe we should find out and see if he's worth paying attention to...
Well folks, we're getting down to the wire.  Soon and very soon, we are going to see our King!  Yep, soon and very soon, those credit card bills will be coming in and our eyes will fill, not with tears of joy, but tears of realization of just how much we may have spent.  That being said, this next Sunday, is the third Sunday of Advent, and in particular, it's one of two Sundays in which the Church wears Rose, a striking color indeed, and depending on where you get your vestments made, a beautiful color, or a color that resembles the Pepto Bismol bottle  (aaaahhh, such beauty).  Either way, this Sunday is known as Gaudete Sunday and it is a day that reminds to rejoice!  Every Gaudete Sunday, I can hear the echoes of "Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel" and the proclamation "Rejoice!  Rejoice!"  Indeed, we are called upon to rejoice.  We are invited to look at the season around us and recognize that the Light is upon us and we shall no longer live in fear.  We are the people who lived in darkness and we have seen a great light.  This season in particular, I am struck by the power of turning to God's love.  In a world where we hear more and more about radicalized this or radicalized that, Gaudete Sunday and all of Advent is precisely a time for a radicalization of our own.  Now I must explain myself,  by radicalization, I intend the full meaning of the word which stems from its Latin origin radix.  Literally, I am talking about rooting ourselves in the richness of God's love.  I am talking about dusting off all those things that bar us from truly connecting to God and allowing a most intimate connection to flourish.  This Advent, like all Advents, we are invited to honestly clean out our souls and our persons and to make room for the growth that is to take place.  And this is where the Gospel message comes in...  you see, John the Baptizer provoked (and still provokes) a sense of decluttering in our lives.  He looks at us and challenges us to be open to the Holy Spirit.  This means that in our daily lives we are to recognize those things that posses us and so easily prevent the Spirit from moving in us.  We are called to till the soil of our souls and to make fertile our heart for the growth that God wants to see in us.  This is a challenge and can sometimes lead to more profound work in ourselves, but ultimately, we are brought to a place where God is at the core of our being and we are changed for good.  Those who approached John the Baptist approached with a sense of hunger and thirst, and while he was able to quench their needs for the time being, it is Christ who satisfies us and makes us whole.  And so, I rejoice, because even in me, God is at work, and as the Spirit moves and leads me to work, God smiles as God looks at my silliness, and GOd says "you are very good," and I am satisfied and I proclaim "Rejoice! Rejoice!  Oh Israel, for unto me has come, Emmanuel!"  As always, remember that I love you, you are beautiful and you are loved.  Fr. Rick

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