Joy - A Way of Life
Christus et natus
(Christ is Born)
Ex Maria Virgine
(Of the Virgin Mary)
Today is Gaudete Sunday - a time to rejoice- to be excited in our hearts about God becoming one of us- to bring us back into an intimate relationship, which lasts forever.
To rejoice means to feel great joy or to have happiness and delight. For Christians, rejoicing is a state of being which comes from our recognizing that we have received eternal life, which we did not deserve or earn. It is a way of life, an appreciation of the gift of life.
This is what the readings are about- the blind will regain their sight, the lame will walk, the deaf will hear, and the poor will have the Gospel preached to them. Imagine if you became blind, and you could no longer see the sun, the moon or the stars, or ever see your family and friends; and suddenly your sight is miraculously restored. You would rejoice in seeing once again the beauty of all of God’s creation, and being able to see the tender smiles of your family and friends. Imagine if you could not walk and, suddenly you were able to run, and jump, and skip. Imagine if you had never heard a sound, then suddenly you could hear music, and for the first time hear the voice of someone you love. If these miracles happened to us, our life would not only change, but we would jump for joy, because we would know what we had lost, and appreciate what we had gained. If we had seen any of these miracles in a movie, we would be brought to tears.
Appreciation is the ability to see our lives as an undeserved gift. This is the foundation for rejoicing. We rejoice when we are able to experience our lives from this perspective of being restored to a relationship with Jesus. It is the opposite of thinking we deserve everything. We would naturally share the message of Christ, because we could not contain it.
We may not remember the way things were before Adam and Eve, and may feel we have suffered no affect from it, but we lost eternal life and an intimate relationship with God. Jesus restores us to the life God wants for us.
Before Christ, we did not have salvation. We did not have eternal life. We did not have forgiveness of sins. We did not call each other brothers and sisters. We lived under the guilt of the sin of Adam and Eve, and we did not have a purpose in life. In essence we were blind and lame and deaf. Now, in Christ we have a purpose-to love God, and to love one another. Now, we have a relationship with God that we did not have before. Now, we have a family. We have regained our sight, and now we can leap with joy.
Keep working on your Advent list, and checking it twice. Thanks for participating at Mass. See you next week.