Sunday, December 12, 2010


The Road to Bethlehem by Joseph Brickey

We are nearer each day to the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Children have a great sense of joy, eagerly looking forward to Christmas presents and, as an added bonus, vacation from school. This joy is merely symbolic of the happiness of having Our Lord near us. Nothing can really compare to the joy of being in the presence of Christ.

Christian happiness is profound and everlasting. Worldly happiness leads to its own loss. It is transitory, unsustainable. When we have Jesus within ours souls, we carry joy in our hearts and minds. This joy can help us in difficult times. Pain, discomfort and contradictions cannot affect it. Jesus promised us: "Your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you." (John 16:22) This is true as long as we do not separate ourselves from the source of our happiness, Jesus.

The state of grace means that Jesus is with us; He is within us. We are members of the Church which is His Body. He is among us also as we pray with others. This is joy. Now, can you imagine the joy of encountering Him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Confession? In merciful love He takes away our sins. His love replaces the misery of bad deeds, words, thoughts and desires. The penitent is at last free and filled with the Love of all loves. Then, imagine the joy of actually receiving his Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in Holy Communion. He is one with us.

I ask "Can you imagine the joy..." Of course, you and I can because we go to Confession and receive Him. Let us show and communicate this joy with others.

Today is called Gaudete Sunday meaning Rejoice Sunday because we are more than halfway through Advent to Christmas. That is why rose vestments can be worn. Rose is a liturgical color symbolizing joy. May this joy always be in our hearts.

Father Stanley