Friday, December 15, 2006


Today is Gaudete Sunday. The Latin word Gaudete means to rejoice. Today’s liturgy tells us to rejoice because the coming of the Lord is at hand. The Introit sets the tone of the Mass: “Rejoice in the Lord always!”

It become more painfully clear each year that the Church's "joy and gladness" are in complete contradiction to the festivities of the pagan world. The Nativity of Our Lard has been turned into a winter festival devoid of any religious significance whatsoever. Our Blessed Savior is hardly mentioned. How dreadful! Jesus, Mary and Joseph do not fit into the world’s false festivities. And now in the year 2006, we have the complete blasphemy of not only expelling Christ from the Crib scene, but now we have the evil of an alternate lifestyle couple at the crib. Utter wickedness!

As followers of the Lord we must be clear that the Christmas Season is a time of Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Jesus is the Messiah! Mary is the Mother of the Messiah! Joseph is the Foster Father of the Messiah! We must stress the Holy Family, especially to our youth. Without Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Christmas is a delusion.

The Church, through the liturgy, never permits us to slip into this spirit of paganism. Today Saint Paul in his letter to the Philippians tells that the peace of Christ “surpasses all understanding.” We must, as Paul continues, “keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The Church sings out in the Alleluia Verse: "O Lord, stir up Thy might and come to save us.” Jesus Christ is our Divine Savior. He is our Lord and our God! He is the Eternal Word of God who took human flesh from the Virgin Mary. Jesus Christ has become man to save us from sin, Satan and eternal death.

In the Communion Antiphon we pray: “We implore O Lord, Thy mercy that these divine mysteries may expiate our sins and prepare us for the approaching feast.”

Why does the Church sing out in exuberant joy? The Redemption! God who is “rich in mercy” did not abandon us to the powers of death. He did not leave us in our sins. In His infinite mercy, He sent His Son to be our Savior. Saint Paul expressed it so well to the Ephesians: "You were dead because of your sins and offenses . . . (you) lived at the level of the flesh following every whim and fancy and so by nature deserved God's wrath like the rest. But God is rich in mercy . . . He brought us to life with Christ when we were dead in sin" (2: 1-4).

This is our Christmas, "joy and gladness," the Redemption! Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, we find forgiveness and peace. The Messiah comes not to terrorize us by condemnation and wrath. No! At Bethlehem, He comes in mercy and pardon. He comes as a Babe in the arms of His holy mother. Saint Joseph kneels close in adoration and protection. Indeed, all is calm; all is bright around the Virgin and Child. Let us savor fully the Christmas joy of the Holy Family.

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.


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