#MyMassTakeaway: Imperfect Rejoicing on Gaudete Sunday

Today’s the Third Sunday of Advent.

Find the Mass Readings here: Third Sunday of Advent, December 17, 2017

My takeaway:

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#MyMasstakeaway: Imperfect Joy . This lettering is what my rejoicing looks like. Imperfect script, shaky because of the toddler climbing all over me. Wrinkled and food stained before I get a chance to capture it. . This is real life joy. . Sometimes it's imperfect. It's marred by the bumps of daily life. Sometimes its perfection is short lived. Its beauty is quickly stained and wrinkled by the anxieties of life. . But if it's rooted in faith, it's still there. It may be difficult to recognize. It may take some serious intentionality to see it for what it is. But it can't be erased from our life without our consent. . The joy of Christ shines through even the imperfections. . This week, I'm going to look through the mess in my life. I'm going to search past the sink full of dishes and piles of laundry and crumbs on the table. Past the worries and anxiety. And I'm going to rediscover the joy that's been there all along. . I'm going to rejoice in God my Savior, soon to be born as a Baby in Bethlehem.

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Thoughts from my blogging friends:

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Rejoice always – really?!? Pray unceasingly – when? In all things, give thanks – Paul. Do you want to know my life right now? I still have a cold. My children are fighting. The house is a mess. I'm missing my BIL's birthday celebration. I won't get to hold my newborn niece for another week. But. It is cold outside, and my house is warm. I am hungry, and I have food in my pantry. My throat hurts, and we have plenty of tea. My sister's baby is healthy, and her first Christmas is in eight days. Life doesn't always go the way that we want it, but it helps when we remember this: The one who calls us is faithful. May we give thanks and make way for the Lord. #mymasstakeaway #mysundaybest

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Rejoice! Monseignor was rocking his #rosevestments today as he talked about #joy. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Christmas can be a time of superficial fun. It might be a time of true joy based on true earthly good. It can also be a time of deep grief and hardship. But the joy of the Gospel is for all. In dark times, there is a deep and lasting joy that can come from knowing that God will use all our joys and heartbreak to draw us nearer to being made in His image. He can also use our sorrows to give us the opportunity to bring joy and relief to others. I wish you the joy of the Gospel this year. ♡ #advent #howweadvent #catholic #catholicmom #catholicmotherhood #livingliturgically #catholiclife #mysundaybest #mymasstakeaway #christmas #jesus

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#MyMassTakeAway #HowWeAdvent #ThirdSundayAdvent Today's second reading tells us to "Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing and in ALL circumstances give thanks," There are times in life like grief, illness, or financial hardships, that it seems impossible to rejoice and be thankful. At those times go to Jesus and tell Him how you are feeling, then you will receive all the grace necessary to be grateful. Last week, a dear friend of mine died. She was only 58. Shock and sadness led me to prayer. I offered my grief to God for the repose of her soul and just for a moment, I felt my friend's joyful presence with me. This gave me peace and acceptance, so I could be thankful for the times we had together. In ALL circumstances give thanks and let God take care of things.

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This Sunday is the Gaudete Sunday, third Sunday of Advent, when we are invited truly to rejoice because very soon we will celebrate the coming of Jesus, in flesh, in very humble circumstances, so humble probably in which neither of us would find joyful. Fr. Vincent had a great reminder in his #homily today: For some of us, this great season of joy is not joyful at all, it might be a season of sadness – some of us might have lost loved ones and this is the first Christmas without them, or lost jobs or are having their last Christmas because of sickness. If you are experiencing this, this is exactly the reason Jesus came to us. He didn't come because we have lights on the tree, cookies in the oven or elves on the shelves. He came to heal the broken hearted, release those in bondage and comfort us. The grace he offers us is the joy of the gospel that goes beyond our circumstances. God wants to be invited in our messy lives and struggles. The Jesus who eats, sleeps, drinks, he wanted to be with us. We see the true joy of coming out of ourselves in John the Baptist, he is the one who Testifies, testifies to the Light. He had the amazing joy of knowing Jesus- he really didn't live in great conditions: He wore camel hair clothing, ate locusts and was beheaded. He said he had the joy of being the friend of the bridegroom. — This joy is truly a Grace. Grace is a gift from God, a gift you don't necessarily deserve or can receive through your own efforts. Faith is a Grace as well. These days I was praying for the grace of being able to recognize Jesus. It sounds funny, but there is a chance you would be face to face with Jesus and not know it is him. It happened before, when he came in flesh, many didn't recognize him…. what a tragic thing that would be…so let's pray for the grace of Faith and Joy! . . #MyMasstakeaway #thewordofgod #drawclosertogod #lovegod #godinspired #openjourney #religiousart #christianart #catholicartist #faith #sermon #advent #gaudete #joy #jesus #stgerardparish #grace #johnthebaptist #icon @tojesussincerely @v_rich14

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WHO IS JOHN THE BAPTIST? Who is this man, who has a profound spirit of God, with which he exercises it in the desert, by calling on people to repent? The priests, Levites and Pharisees who are sent to John are all quick to question by whose authority he preaches this repentance. NOT ELIJAH Surely the Jewish people were awaiting the return of the prophet Elijah, who was carried up to heaven by a whirlwind and a chariot and horses of fire. The profit Malachi foretold the return of the great profit Elijah: Behold, I will send you Eli′jah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.” ~Malachi 4:5-6 But John says he is not Elijah. NOT MOSES The Jews were also waiting for the prophet, like Moses, who was foretold to rise up from among them: The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren—him you shall heed” ~Deuteronomy 18:15 But John says he is not Moses. NOT CHRIST John is not Elijah, not Moses, and he clearly stated, “I am not the Christ.” This perplexes the Jews, as John is sent by God, but is not God. In this time of expectation, who is this rouge preaching outside of the synagogue? Isaiah 40:3 states: A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,  make straight in the desert a highway for our God. John answers the question as to his identity, with this verse from Isaiah. In John 1:23, he says to them: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” PROPHESY FULFILLED The gospel of John tells us that John the Baptist was sent from God. His mission was to testify to the coming of Christ, so that others might believe through John. He was to prepare the way for the coming Messiah, as all the prophets did before him. This mission was one that was prepared for John, and foretold before his very birth. When John’s father Zechariah entered the temple… https://thelionofdesign.com/blog/advent-reflections-3rd-sunday/

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Did you know that 2/3 of Catholics come back to the faith because someone invited them? . . Msgr. told us this fact at Mass today and it totally blew me away. I always feel awkward inviting someone to Mass because I'm afraid they'd get offended, but what if they wouldn't be? What if they'd come back, all because of that invitation? #MyMassTakeaway . . #catholic #catholicchurch #catholicartisan #catholicbusiness #catholicsmallbusiness #church #churchwork #churchworker #evangelization #spokenbride #priest #catholicpriest #instacatholic #marketing #catholicmarketing #faithbasedmarketing #evangelization #bissisterhood #catholicentrepreneur #catholicmillenial #churchevent #eventplanning #parish #zeliecreates #gloriam #gloriammarketing #admajoremdeigloriam #forhisgreaterglory

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Happy Guadete Sunday! As a new Catholic and a relatively new disciple of Christ, I often feel like I'm teetering around like my toddler learning to walk. With having lived almost the first decade of my adulthood of the world and cut off from Christ, feeling contrite and repentant comes the most naturally to me. I struggle with believing that my sins are forgiven. Today God invited me to cast away my fears, my self loathing and my doubts and REJOICE in Him. Because He is so beautiful, so merciful, so absolutely awe inspiring. Returning to my pew to pray following communion, instead of a solemn heart weighed down by my unworthiness, I felt pure joy knowing that He is not only coming, but is surging in me and through me. #liturgicalliving #catholiclife #advent #mymasstakeaway

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Your turn:

I want to know your Mass Takeaway too! Comment with your thoughts on the readings, your pastor’s homily, or anything that struck you during your time at Mass.

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