Sunday, December 11, 2016

Gaudete Sunday

The Church does not invite us to rejoice as some kind of liturgical diversion from the pain and conflict all around us. Just the opposite; we are invited to rejoice only because, as the prophet Isaiah tells us this morning, God is very near despite all indications to the contrary: 

Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
with divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;

then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.
he lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.

We dare to rejoice because hope, mercy and compassion are with us and always coming closer in Christ Jesus our Lord, the God of all consolation. Hope is beside us. Not false hope (there’s never ever been anything false about hope) for now in Christ, Hope is a Person who is searching for us. Love and mercy are relentlessly coming to us as an undeserved and surprising gift. Isaiah reminds us that “a pattern of reversal” is unfolding in our midst.” And we are being invited to collaborate in the divine subterfuge. For God is taking disaster, pain and contradiction as his opportunity for grace, and he begs our cooperation.

Photograph of Abbey window by Brother Daniel.