The Pastor’s Corner
This Sunday, we celebrate what is known as “Gaudete Sunday” or the Sunday to rejoice. It is given that name because it marks the halfway point of Advent. That midpoint of Advent was welcomed years ago when Advent was more deeply penitential. But Gaudete Sunday is more than a liturgical marker.
We might ask how can we rejoice when there is so much distress, violence and division in our world. Could the liturgy be calling us to some kind of artificial joy? The joy of this Sunday derives not from the way things are but by what they can be. As Advent proceeds, we are joined by the traditional Advent hymns that accompany us to Christmas. They call us to open the door to a different way of living. The readings speak to us of a new world, a restored world where we can begin to diminish the quantity of tension and division. That new world can come about through our following of Jesus Christ.
There is an altarpiece in a church in Germany about which I read that portrays John the Baptist pointing to Christ. What is unique about that altarpiece is that John’s pointing finger is very large. The artist’s message was that John’s mission was to point to Jesus. That is our mission as well. Are we willing to take the first step in seeking reconciliation, in dispelling past hurts, in embracing our faith and our Church, in opening our lives to the Sermon on the Mount and pointing people to Christ?
The joy of the Sunday is that all this is possible if we have the courage to take a bold step in building that new world of which Scripture speaks brick by brick. When people are willing to do that, if only one person is willing to do that, this is indeed a Sunday to rejoice.
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January marks the 1-year anniversary of the Faith Direct e- Giving program. A letter will be sent to everyone who is registered at Sacred Heart and St. Bridget’s with the 2015 Diocesan Offertory schedule. For those already using Faith Direct, you do not need to do anything to continue your contributions. For others, it is your opportunity to enroll in the Faith Direct e-Giving program. Also, there will be monthly and quarterly categories for making payments to the Sacred Heart Capital Campaign for the new gymnasium and Academy improvements.
In Our Lord
Father Stan Krempa
Why does Advent matter?