Sunday, December 12th 2021 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin
We have arrived at Gaudete Sunday (Gaudete is the Latin word for “rejoice”) this Third Week of Advent, and the Scriptures take on a joyful tone as we continue our preparations for the feast of our Savior’s birth.
Our Second Reading from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Philippians gives us cause for joy as he reminds us, “The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all….” Then he gives us a prescription for maintaining this peace: “In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Saint Paul’s instructions for obtaining peace come as an early Christmas gift. They remind us that we can and should go to God with all our needs and present them to Him along with our attitude of Gratitude. This guidance calls to mind a vital aspect of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ: gratitude to God in response to His great love and countless gifts to us.
The Gospel passage, from Luke, shows us how to live out this sense of thankfulness, making our lives a “Christmas gift” to Christ in joyful response to His love for us. When the crowds heard John the Baptist’s message that their Savior would be coming, they asked him what they should do to prepare themselves. He responded, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do the same.” He told the tax collectors to stop collecting more than was prescribed and soldiers, to be satisfied with their wages. In other words, he told them as well as us today, to be good and generous with all of God’s gifts we have received!
As the great feast of Christmas draws ever near, let us rejoice in Christ’s extravagant love for us. Let us avail ourselves of the peace He longs to bestow on us. And let us look carefully at our lives to make sure we are indeed making of them a gift fitting for Jesus Christ our Lord as we prepare to celebrate his birth.
The second collection at each Sunday Masses is dedicated to building our new Church restrooms. Your generosity will go a long way in completing this much needed project.
As the year 2021 ends, many people have made it their custom to donate an end of the year tax deductible gift. Please consider making such a donation to the One Faith, One Family, One Future Capital Campaign. We have raised $497,275 so far out of the $600,000 proposed cost of building new restrooms for Saint Joachim Church. We are short $102,725 to complete the project. You can donate at www.faith.direct/ca1091 or drop it off in the parish office.