Today is “Gaudete Sunday,” so named from the first word of the Introit for the Mass for the Third Sunday of Advent, which is taken from St. Paul’s command to the Philippians and to us: “Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again: Rejoice! … The Lord is near!” This is the most honored Sunday of Advent, as its station Mass is assigned to St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.
Today our pace quickens as we run towards the Lord, Who is running even faster to us. We sense that He is near, that soon He will be born for us in the stable of Bethlehem, that soon He will come to judge the living and the dead. We rejoice at this sense of His nearness and beg Him to prepare in our hearts the way for His Coming.
We live in a fallen world. We have to tell our children not to talk to strangers. We have to take out insurance policies and have our contracts notarized. We live in an ugly, fallen world, in which we find it difficult to trust each other even in matters that are mutually beneficial.
Tomorrow we celebrate the feast day of a World that is not fallen. Tomorrow we celebrate the truth that, right in the middle of this fallen world of ours, there is a World so beautiful and so pure and so free from sin that God chose it for His own dwelling. As St. Louis de Montfort famously preached, God made the earth for men and the heavens for the angels, and finding neither of these places suitable for Himself, he made for His own Dwelling the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The video of the Confirmations and Solemn High Mass with Pontifical Assistance at St. Margaret Mary in the Extraordinary Form by his Excellency, The Most Reverend Michael C. Barber, S. J., Bishop of Oakland, CA, last November 7, 2014, is now available for viewing.