Gaudete Sunday: Hang In There, Friends

Today’s the 3rd Sunday of Advent.

Find the Mass Readings here: 3rd Sunday in Advent, December 16, 2018

My Takeaway: Hang in There.

We don’t have to do something extreme.

In the Gospel reading, people flocked to John the Baptist. He had a ton of influence. People even thought he was the Christ. They were ready to do whatever he said.

John the Baptist could’ve led a revolution. He could’ve caused an uprising. But in answer to the inquiry, “What should we do?” John pointed to the ordinary.

Share your clothes and your food.

Stop cheating each other.

Stop pointing fingers.

Be content with your wages.

I can imagine their mild disappointment. Maybe they were looking to take up arms, fight back against the oppression in their day. Maybe they wanted John to tell them to leave their homes, join him in the desert, start a radical new way of life.

But John the Baptist told them to hang in there.

Hang in there, friends.

Share your clothes and food with those who don’t have any. Be fair in all your interactions with others. Stop pointing fingers, as if all your problems are somebody else’s fault. Be content with the circumstances in your daily life.

You don’t have to do something extreme.

You just have to be patient and content and joyful in your ordinary life.

Today is Gaudete Sunday. I always thought it was kind of funny that we have a week of rejoicing when we’re still in the waiting. And that we’ll go back to plain old waiting before Christmas comes.

But this Gospel points to what Gaudete Sunday is all about.

It’s not the rejoicing of the party. The Savior isn’t here yet. It’s not about doing something awesome and extraordinary.

It’s about rejoicing in our daily life.

Rejoicing in the waiting.

We persevere in joy, even though the Savior hasn’t arrived yet. We persevere in joy, even though we don’t see God face to face.

In our liturgical living, and in our practical daily lives, we’re called to enter into the joy of waiting.

Sometimes we can get so frustrated that we’re not perfect. This world isn’t perfect. We want to possess virtue. We want to avoid suffering and sin.

But we’re not there yet.

We’re here.

Where sin and suffering abound.

This Sunday teaches us that these things don’t need to steal our joy. This Sunday tells us to hang in there. To accept and embrace our daily life, with our eyes ahead on what’s to come.

It’s hard to keep a joyful spirit sometimes amidst the endless chores and mess of a house full of people. But that’s where I need to turn my focus today.

It’s hard to keep a joyful spirit when my personal interests have to move over to make time for cooking and cleaning and caring and discipline. But that’s the challenge I’m called to rise to.

It’s so difficult to keep a joyful spirit when this world attacks my family from every angle, tempting them to sin and error. But I have to remind myself that Jesus wins. He conquers sin. He’s got this.

Let go of the mild disappointment that God’s not calling you to be a superstar or a church reformer or a martyr today.

Embrace the call he has for you today. The call to a living martyrdom. A martyrdom of joy in the ordinary. Of virtue on the daily.

Hang in there, friends.

Christ is coming.

Featured Five Takeaways:

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I'm no Scripture scholar, ahem. But I do know that the Words of God in public revelation are not just a matter of personal edification. They are that, of course. But way more than that they are meant to be a message to ALL His people, and first interpreted corporally. So while I picked out this verse to meditate and pray with over the week and it was necessary and hope-filling in my own personal circumstances, how much more so when I read this in light of Him speaking to His Body, the Church? + "The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love.” + He is here, friends. He has been here. He never left. + He is working in those unfathomable and secret ways that He does to renew us in Him. Renew – to make new. He makes ALL THINGS NEW. Whether it's a heart exhausted and trampled by the weight of a personal cross or His entire Body yet again bleeding and raw, He is in the process of renewal. And He is not shocked by the depth to which we need it. We cannot shock or scandalize Him. We have every reason to hope because we have HIM and if we trust that He is not a liar, then we know He, mightier than John, mightiest of all, is with us always to the end of the age. Emmanuel. + There is no hand-wringing needed in the authentic Christian life. He won, He is winning, He will win. And we – all – can be made new. Rejoice indeed. + 🖤 + #Scripture #sundayreadings #sundayScripturesnapshot #mymasstakeaway #gaudete #renew #hope #rejoice #catholic #bissisterhood

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We went to 8am mass today. Getting out the door was a struggle but everyone was SO well behaved we might be changing our normal mass time to the butt crack of dawn 😂😂 – Last night when I was preparing for mass by reading through my amazing @everysacredsunday mass journal, the word “Joy” stood out. As it should. It’s gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means “rejoice” and this all started me on a massive rabbit hole to differentiate between happiness and joy. – We often use the two words interchangeably. But they have two very different meanings. – Happiness can be taken away. If money makes you happy and you loose your job and have none, your happiness is robbed. Happiness is an emotion, JOY is a state of being. – The state of being complete, whole despite what the world throws at us. The result of the complete faith, hope and love God has in US and we return back to him. That’s a gift no one, no circumstance can remove from you. – Does a loved one have an awful diagnosis? Well no one can remove your hope of salvation in Christ. Did you just get hit with a HUGE financial crisis? That money and security on earth may be gone but the JOY we have of eternal love and union with God, no one can take that from you. – But, if you confuse joy with happiness your faith will be tested. God NEVER promises we will be happy always. He never says life will be without struggle, actually he pretty much guarantees suffering, and a lot of it on this side of heaven. – That’s where the difference comes in. We’re told to REJOICE always. Not be happy always. Give thanks amidst the crap and the awful and the suffering. – My kids might not always make me happy but they always bring me joy. I have unwavering faith in them, love for them, and hope for their lives just like our Father does for us. Unshakable peace and joy came to the world when God became a MAN. This week I’m focusing on the joy. Even with poop, and crying kids, and tantrums, and not ever getting the stuff I need done.. joy when I look at these amazing humans God made ME for and them for me. #mymasstakeaway

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