Today is Gaudete Sunday―a time of rejoicing in anticipation of the birth of Christ. And rejoice we should, for we read in today’s Scriptures about the power of God to transform the barren deserts of our lives into gardens with His saving and healing presence:
First reading: Isaiah 35:1-6, 10
Psalm: 146: 6-10
Second reading: James 5: 7-10
Gospel: St. Matthew 11: 2-11
In the rose-colored vestments of Gaudete Sunday, we perceive the beauty of God who is worthy of our hope and trust. Our first reading from Isaiah proclaims how God creates new life in unexpected places so that “the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the lily it shall blossom abundantly” (Is 35:1-2)
The great Mother of God, Mary Most Holy, is the model of faith in God’s promise to bring new life to His people. I think of Our Lady after the Annunciation, when she visited her cousin Elizabeth, sharing her joyous news of motherhood in impossible circumstances. Both women live out their trust that indeed “nothing shall be impossible for God.” Elizabeth’s words to Mary resonate: “Blessed is she who believed there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord!” (Lk 1:45)
This week, please ask yourself: how is the Lord speaking to you in this season before Christ’s birth? In what ways might He be promising to turn the desert of your life into a fruitful garden, thanks to the birth of our Savior?
Among EWTN’s faith-filled programs to encourage and inspire you this week (all times Eastern):
EWTN Family Christmas Special. Enjoy the sacred music of Christmas as performed by the EWTN Choir, with commentary on the spiritual riches of the Season by Fr. Joseph. Dec. 17, 5:00 PM; Dec 19, 10:30 PM; Dec 22, Midnight; Dec. 24, 6:00 PM; Dec. 25, 2:00 PM and Dec. 26, 1:00 PM (60 mins.)
Keep Christ in Christmas, a Catholics Come Home Special Presentation. Go behind the scenes for a special look at the making of this inspiring Catholics Come Home “evangomercial” to help families stay focused on Christ during the holiday season. Dec 18, 5:00 PM; Dec 22 8:30 PM (30 mins.)
An EWTN Holy Land Experience: Christmas. Delve into the mysteries of the Incarnation as Fr Joseph and Fr. Mark journey to sites throughout Bethlehem for an unforgettable Christmas experience. Dec. 18, 6:30 PM; Dec 24, 9:00 PM (30 mins.)
Savoring our Faith Christmas Special. Share a favorite Christmas meal with Fr. Leo Patalinghug and his special guest Fr. Patrick Mary as they mix great holiday recipes with reflections on the Birth of Our Lord. Dec 20, 6:30 PM; Dec 21, 4:00 AM (30 mins.)
Also, if you missed the Advent reflections from previous weeks, you can view those here.
May God continue to bless you as we journey together this Advent,