Chaplain’s Corner | 3rd Sunday of Advent: Gaudete Sunday (December 15, 2013)

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Introit sung to Gregorian Chant

 Philemon 4: 4-6; Ps. 84;2  Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est.  Nihil solliciti sitis; sed in omni oratione petitiones vestrae innotescant apud Deum.  Benedixisti, Domine, terram tuam, avertisti captivitatem Jacob.  Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice.  Let your modesty be known to all men: for the Lord is nigh.  Be nothing solicitous; but in every thing by prayer let your petitions be made known to God.  Lord, Thou has blessed Thy land; Thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob.

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

In Advent this Sunday has been traditionally called Gaudete Sunday.  “Gaudete” comes from the Latin verb which means “to rejoice.”  I have printed about the official Introit in Latin and English, which is used not only in the Traditional Latin Mass, but also in the Ordinary Form of the Mass when the official music of the Church is used.

We are reminded that it is Jesus who alone brings lasting joy.  His joy enters our hearts when we live in union with Him.  If we are alive in Him, living in the state of grace, we possess a peace, joy, love that nurtures us now and will lead to eternal happiness in heaven.   Our spiritual rebirth in Jesus is our greatest treasure.   It is this certainty that gives us “forbearance” since we know that “The Lord is at hand.”

It is from this position of Godly joy that we have the confidence to call out to God in prayer, even when sad experiences come our way.  Though there are difficulties in life, they need not steal from us our identity as beloved sons and daughters of the Father.  We are comforted and encouraged to persevere come what may:  “Do not be anxious over anything.”   We have this confidence because God always hears and answers our prayers.  He invites us to cry out to Him:  “…in all manner of prayer, let your requests be made known unto God.”

At this mid-point of Advent we pause to assess our spiritual progress thus far. God is very good.  He always loves us more than we can imagine and His mercy is without limits.  We fervently pray for the grace to make further growth in the Christian life.  Renewing our faith in the Lord Jesus gives us a hope that revives us and brings hope to others.  Jesus will not let us down; Jesus lives.

Yours in the Lord,
The Rev. Mark G. Mazza, Chaplain

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