As we observe Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday this weekend, we may ask ourselves, “What is there to rejoice about in the midst of the pandemic?” In our Second Reading today, St. Paul reminds us to rejoice always in all circumstances. Even in the midst of the pandemic and other challenges, we have many reasons to rejoice this weekend and always. Our reasons to rejoice go beyond the need for physical health or protection from harm. It is the Joy of the Lord, the joy that the world cannot give us. In the First Reading, Prophet Isaiah describes his reasons for rejoicing in the Lord. We too can share with him in rejoicing that the spirit of the Lord is upon us, that the Lord has anointed us, that the Lord has entrusted us with the opportunity to announce the Good News, to heal the broken-hearted and to set the captives free. In the Gospel Reading today, John the Baptist also rejoices that he was given the honor of announcing the arrival of Jesus Christ. He saw the light of Jesus Christ, he testified to the Light, he pointed at the Light and in doing so, directed people to follow Christ.
The Scripture Readings this weekend invite us to reflect on the spiritual joy that marks our Christi an faith. We should always rejoice because God has done great things for us! We are filled with joy for belonging to a loving and supportive community of faith; we rejoice for the gift of our families and friends, and the joy of knowing that our relationship with the Lord is secured. The Lord will always be with us in every circumstance we encounter. I pray that the Joy of the Lord will continue to be our strength (Nehemiah 8:10) as we go through this very challenging ti me.
Thank you and remain blessed,
Fr. JamesBACK TO LIST