“Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again. Rejoice!” these words of St. Paul in the second reading (Philippians 4:4-7) remind us that the underlying attitude of the Christians should be joy. Today, on Gaudete Sunday, the readings and prayers focus on joy. And so we light the rose (pink) colored candle and wear rose-colored vestments as a sign that we are called to be a people filled with joy. But how can we be that way when we see so much pain, suffering, and injustice in the world around us and even among our loved ones and even in our very own lives? The answer lies in God who never abandoned his people in spite of their rebelliousness toward Him.
As the prophet Zephaniah says today (Zephaniah 3:14-18a), “The Lord your God is in your midst a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness and renew you in his love…” And if God was with his people before Jesus, how much more is He with us now through the seven sacraments, especially the Blessed Sacrament? Finally, He comes to be with us in our parish community as we pray, socialize, and work together. As Jesus himself said, “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst.” It doesn’t get any better than that; therefore we must “Rejoice always.”
- Father Carl