Monday, December 14, 2009

3rd Sunday of Advent - homily

It’s early for this, but on behalf of Meg Miller, I wish you all a merry Christmas! We know you have some work to do before then, and we will be praying especially hard for you this week during finals. But, we hope you have a great Christmas break! You certainly have earned it. I have one bit of advice for you: stay active over break. Definitely get some rest and have fun with family and friends. You want to keep your minds active; we have some pamphlets in the back of Church which you can grab as you leave tonight. Try to do some things around the house and for your family and friends. The saying goes that “idleness is a devil’s workshop”. Breaks can be dangerous because they can lead to so much idleness. So, try to stay active in different ways over break.

Today is Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete comes from the Latin word for “rejoice”. When we rejoice, we are filled with gladness and joy. Christmas is a time for us to rejoice! Two questions for you all tonight: 1) Do you rejoice in God and 2) Does God rejoice in you?

Hopefully, when you think of God, you are filled with gladness and joy. God is all-good and all-love, so we should rejoice whenever we consider who God is. And then, we get to something like Christmas and we see what God has done for us. If you know the story about why Christ was born, then you know it is a source of rejoicing. God sent His Son into the world to save us…to open the gates of Heaven for us. They had been closed since the Original Sin of Adam and Eve; no one B.C. went to Heaven. So many good men and women from the Old Testament couldn’t get there before Christ. But, Christ’s life, death, and resurrection opened the gates of Heaven, giving the men and women from the Old Testament a chance to be saved. Christ gives us a chance to be saved. This is “good news”! The Birth of Christ is a cause for rejoicing! May we all rejoice in God this Christmas.

How do we rejoice in God? Do we do a dance?! Do we sing as one sings at a festival? Sure, we can do that and it’s actually pretty cool to do that. But, rejoicing in God is normally more internal. We rejoice in our hearts and minds. If we know God and our hearts are open to Him, we are filled with gladness and joy. This is a deep and lasting joy. It is deeper and longer lasting than pleasure. It affects our whole being and changes us. It brings us true happiness when we rejoice in God.

Now, does God rejoice in you? Do you fill His heart with gladness and joy? Is He truly happy with you? YES! The first reading tells us that He rejoices in us. Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘God doesn’t rejoice in what I did last night at the Christmas party or what I said about so-and-so last week or that I ate ten chocolate éclairs for breakfast’. Sure, God doesn’t rejoice in your sin, but He rejoices in you! He is filled with gladness and joy at who you are. He created you and “God don’t make junk”. He loves you for who you are. There is no one in the world like you. He is truly happy with you and rejoices in you.

If we are looking for a sign that God rejoices in us, we look at the Birth of Christ. That event is a sign that God rejoices in us even in the midst of our sinfulness. God knows our sinfulness and He still rejoices in us. He sends His Son to show and tell us that He rejoices in us.

Finally, God continues to give us a sign that He rejoices in us: the Eucharist. Even in the midst of our sinfulness, God sends His Son to us in this sacrament to show and tell us that He rejoices in us. He also wants us to be filled with rejoicing. May the Eucharist fill us with the joy and gladness of God. May the Grace of this sacrament help us to know and believe that God rejoices in us. May we all rejoice in God this Christmas and know that He truly rejoices in, is happy with, and loves each and every one of us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't think the Redskins will lose on Monday night.

The Giants will surely be snowed in!