Zephaniah 3:14-18; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:10-18
Today is Gaudete Sunday, Joy Sunday! It is a day for considering all that we as Christians have to rejoice about and, of course, what we have to rejoice about is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. I asked a few people around the place what they especially had to rejoice about and here are a few of the answers I got. I confess that I did edit them a bit to bring a few of their thoughts together more neatly.
"I rejoice mostly when I pray. This is where I meet God and it really makes me happy that he is so available. I love to pray and make an effort to pray every day. I love the Rosary and also the Divine Mercy chaplet."
"I rejoice because God is looking for me. I still remember that young man Stuart Diver and what he must have felt like when he was buried all that time in the avalanche in the snow fields. He felt so helpless and alone. He thought he was doomed. He must have been so glad to hear the noise of the people looking for him. I read in the scriptures and I hear it in the prayers of the Mass that God is looking for me. He has sent his Son Jesus to find me. I lie there trapped in all the weakness of my life and I long to be rescued, to see the face of my rescuer. I know he will find me and that he will come for me and save me. Not everyone has this longing for him or this trust in him. I rejoice that I have been granted this gift."
"I rejoice that the teachings of the Church are so crystal clear. My faith is certain; black and white. So many of my friends move from church to church looking for one which suits their beliefs. They change every few years and never seem content."
"I rejoice because he is near and I find this exciting! He is not far away. He is near because my stay on earth, however young I am, will soon end. Death is not a falling asleep it is waking up. And he is near in his Second Coming. He has promised and I believe his promise. This gives me so much joy. Many people do not have this sense of meaning in their life. They wait for death. Christians wait for life and life is coming; it is near."
"I rejoice because he is here. As the Scripture says 'He stands among you.' Jesus is in our world but he is not recognised. He is here already among us actively working to save us in all sorts of ways. What a gift this presence is! He is present in my heart, in my life."
"I rejoice because He is my Saviour who came to save me from all those things I am so afraid of: my sins, Hell, Satan and death. He is my Saviour and stronger than any other person or thing. He is Lord of all and has power over all. I rejoice that my God is THE God and that I am safe."
"I rejoice that I am a member of such a big lovely family, God’s family. Whenever I meet a catholic who believes I am immediately at home. I click with that person, we are friends. We understand each other and even ‘love’ each other."
"I rejoice that I have a gift to give God that is worthy of him in the Mass. I know that when I give this gift to God it is pleasing to God and it expresses my love for God in a way that God accepts. The Eucharist is the gift that God wants me to give him and it is the gift I want to give him."
"I rejoice that I have a place to confess my sins where Jesus forgives me through the priest. Jesus is waiting for me with the priest. He always forgives me. He understands me. He is gentle with me. He helps me. I rejoice in this sacrament because it gives me a new start. It is God’s mercy at work on my behalf."
"I rejoice that I know where I am going in life. My life is a journey and I know its destination. So many people don’t know where they are going. I do. And I have all the help I need to get there from the Church and from the sacraments."
"I rejoice that Jesus has taken the one thing I don’t like about life, that is, suffering, and given it meaning. He has made it into a kind of treasure for me. I have plenty of sufferings and, with Jesus, they help me grow in love for people and for him. I am so glad that I have found joy in suffering. I never thought it was possible but it is. He has given it meaning because I find him there."