16 Dec 2017

This Week Letter – December 17, 2017

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Dear Parishioners and Friends.


Today, we celebrate the Sunday of Joy – “Gaudete” – the third Sunday of Advent. This is a double joy, first, from the new liturgical year, and second, because of the Lord’s presence among us.
Today’s readings mention the figure of John the Baptist, which illuminate Advent like the candles in our Advent wreath. His mission is to prepare Jesus’ path to our hearts. The Evangelist wrote about him: “He came to testify about the light, that all might believe through Him. He was not the light but sent to testify about the light. “(Jn 1,7-8). This light is the awaited Jesus Christ, and John, through the words in the Gospel, teaches us humility and joy for the coming of the Lord, and shows us how to live in anticipation of Salvation.
Why is it the Joyful Gaudete Sunday? Because in our hearts we already feel the joy; God’s salvation is coming soonso we feel that the Messiah is right here with us … It is a joy that fills the heart of a man who is close to God, a joy that flows from gratitude for all God’s works that He has done for us, and for that He has given us the opportunity to celebrate the holidays in a solemn mood, in a solemn setting and expectation. The color of the liturgical vestments is unique and is rarely used during the liturgy – pink, and not the usual violet; a color that can sometimes be seen during sunrise. It is Jesus Christ who is this “Rising Sun”, and we – led by Saint John the Baptist – desire to undergo “illumination” in the rays of the Sun, which does not set.
Why does he teach us humility? Because honestly, without self-praise, concerning the question of who he is, he has truthfully stated that he is only a divine messenger who is to bear witness to Him who comes. It makes us aware of our smallness. Let us express humbly the joy of the Lord’s imminent coming, seeing in Him the “Friend of Man” – remember that He is our Friend and that friendship with Him is our greatest treasure. A treasure that we are to confirm with our conversion, atonement and reconciliation.
Friendship is a great gift that shows us the goodness of Jesus as God and man. We should remember that He extends not only sincere friendship and love to our loved ones and friends, but also to those whom we consider unfriendly towards us. Remembering that friendship is a form of love, let us finally be convinced that when we lose it, we lose much. For if love can illuminate our lives, what will happen when it goes out? Certainly, our life will become dark, gloomy, less fruitful. A man who, in loneliness and without friend experiences various difficult moments in life, can easily break down and become depressed. He needs another person who will understand, comfort, and be a confidant. Each of us can be an extension of Jesus’ hands, His legs, His deeds and words when we treat another person in need, with love and kindness. This is one of the most beautiful gifts you can offer to your friend and coming Lord.

God bless!