December 13


1 Thessalonians 5:16

“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks.”

This is “Gaudete Sunday,” and “gaudete” means “rejoice.” In fact, that word recurs again and again in this Sunday’s scriptures. Today Priests and deacons wear pink/salmon vestments, and we exult, because the Incarnation is so close.

But if we think back over this very unforgettable (or maybe forgettable) year, there may not be much cause for rejoicing for many of us.

This Advent many of us are waiting with an expectation and an anxiety that we have not known for a long time. And right about now, rejoicing doesn’t come easily.

But Paul tells us in the second reading, very simply:

“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks.”

In all circumstances.

Even these.

Community of Eastside Catholic, that alone is reason enough to rejoice on this Sunday of rejoicing. The miracle of faith is alive and thriving. The struggles we have today are nothing compared to what the Thessalonians underwent. And to them, Paul was so hopeful.

“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances, give thanks.”

The Incarnation, that blessed moment when God entered in human history, is about to be commemorated, and celebrated.

That event, though remotely, must live on in our EC community.

We must live the Incarnation, and witness to it. The Christ whose coming we celebrate in 12 days must be celebrated every day, in countless Crusader hearts.

He is living in all people of faith, and hope, and love. This is what Christ’s coming was about. And He continues to come, in every outpouring of love, in every sacrifice that is made, in every Eucharist that is offered.

None of us can know what the future will bring. But we prepare to celebrate a gift from the past, God’s gift of His son. And the gift lives on.

So: for what the gift brought…rejoice always!

For what it brings to the world…pray without ceasing!

And for what we have and for what we will receive — in all circumstances — let us give thanks!

So…While our Catholic clergy dawns their pink vestments this gaudate weekend, may we, the Crusaders of Eastside Catholic, also rejoice and proudly dawn our Navy Blue and Orange!

 And like St. John the Baptist in today’s Gospel may we too, this Advent, cry out in the desert,” Prepare the way of the Lord” and…
“Roll Cru!”

Questions to Ponder:

  1. What struck you in this passage? What did you notice that you hadn’t noticed before?
  2. Why do you think so many people refuse to welcome Christ into their lives, even when they hear about His love and know others who have welcomed Him?
  3. Christ has come to meet us in very human ways…through family, friends, priests, and other members of the Church. How can we be better channels for bringing Him to others this Advent?
  4.  How can our rejoicing at Eastside Catholic be a witness to Christ for those in need of hope this Advent and Christmas season?