Rejoice? How can I? I have so many worries, so much to do in so little time…Rejoice?     

Well, actually, you can! It is Gaudete Sunday, the day the Church gives us to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, Christ coming into the world. We light the rose-coloured candle on our Advent wreaths. The Priest echoes the joy by wearing rose vestments rather than the penitential purple ones.


When asked the source of her joy, Mother Teresa replied: “Joy is prayer -- joy is strength -- joy is love -- joy is a net of love. . . A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love . . . loving as He loves, helping as He helps, giving as He gives, serving as He serves, rescuing as He rescues, being with Him twenty-four hours, touching Him in His distressing disguise.[1] 


There is no doubt that it is better to give than to receive, as the saying goes. There is no doubt, that even if the receiver does not seem particularly grateful, it somehow does not detract from an inner joy, the joy of the Holy Spirit. I am not talking about nice feelings here.


In our Gospel today from St. John, the evangelist points us not to John the Baptist but to Jesus, He is the light, the eternal Word of God. A light that can really shine in the darkness. Where do we find this light? Through prayer, through receiving the Sacraments, through studying and praying with the Scriptures, through reading spiritual books and of course by coming to the aid of our neighbour, in whatever small a way.


There is, indeed, “a voice that cries in the wilderness. Make a straight way for the Lord.[2] Will you hear that voice?


Sr. Rosaleen Shaw OP





[1] Malcolm Muggeridge, Something Beautiful for God

[2] Jn.1:23

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