From the Pastor’s Desk 12/13/2015
Dec 11, 2015
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The readings of this third Sunday of Advent call us to rejoice, that is to be happy! True freedom makes us joyful. Christmas is about the joy of knowing that God loves us so much that He sent his only begotten Son to save us and lead us back to the Father. Happiness is essential to Christianity. Countries with catholic majorities rank high on the list of countries that enjoy life. Seems to me newer generations don’t associate their faith with joy perhaps because there is a misconception that Jesus had no fun. And yet, we know that Jesus began his ministry at a wedding party.
The reason of our rejoicing is knowing that the Lord is nearer and that we are getting closer to him. Who can be sad if Jesus is in his or her heart? How do we know we are close to Jesus? John the Baptist gives some really amazing cues. To the question what should we do? He said” Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.”“Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.”“Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.” Joy comes to us when we are fully aware of our human condition. It is not so much about precepts and norms but about what we know is right in our hearts, the desire to be just, fair and fraternal. Joy and happiness is not conformism but encouragement and hope.
Lastly, the first reading for this third Sunday of Advent is about people that had sinned, had been deported, and humiliated, and yetis encouraged and hopeful because our Lord is kind and merciful. It is in the midst of despair and suffering that the Lord announces a new day. In order to be part of that bright day we have to embrace the Lord with love and tenderness, willing to contemplate God in the fragility of a child sleeping in the arms of Mary, his mother. Because conversion always lead us to embrace, share and enjoy life.