Posted by: fvbcdm | December 11, 2014

Feast of Pope Saint Damasus  (11 Dec 2014)

This weekend brings us to the third Sunday in the holy season of Advent—the Sunday when the celebrant at Mass may wear a rose-colored vestment. I don’t like those pink outfits; I don’t think grown men should be wearing pink, and always feel like a bottle of Pepto-Bismol in them, but you’d be surprised how many people would comment if I wore the purple rather than the rose.

The reason for the rose-colored vestments on the midway point in Advent and Lent is that in the ancient days, rose was thought to be more joyful than purple.  And this Sunday’s liturgy begins, in Latin, with the word “Gaudete”: Rejoice! We are invited by the Church to rejoice in the middle of Advent and Lent because we are getting closer to the object of those two sacred seasons. In one case, it’s the great celebration of the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ; in the other, of his resurrection from the tomb.

We Christians are a people who are looking forward to Our Lord’s second coming, just as we look back to his first coming into our world by his incarnation. And we are a people who are fundamentally happy because of our love relationship with Jesus, and through Him, with the Father and the Holy Spirit. But we must make conscious efforts to be joyful, to rejoice, as the beginning of this Sunday’s Mass bids us. This life is certainly not a bowl of cherries; there is illness, the death of loved ones, income taxes, things that go wrong with the house, the car, the job, the children. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Our joy is not based upon everything going smoothly all the time. Rather, it is based upon our knowledge that God is with us, for us. This faith and this hope give us a reason to be joyous even in spite of the little annoyances or large crosses that we encounter along the way. Our Lord had his cross and many other sufferings as well; Our Lady is called Our Lady of Sorrows. But by the end of their mission on earth, both of them were gloriously happy and had paved the way for our happiness, both here and hereafter. So, in the words of this Sunday’s entrance antiphon: Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice! Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note: This message was composed some years ago.

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