Dear Family Church,
The questions to ask others that enter into your life during this Gaudete “Rejoice Sunday” where pink vestments are worn as a symbol of joy are: “Tell me about yourself!” or “How are you?” We should sit back and give the impression that they have the invitation to tell about how they are doing and that we are really open to listen.
“Young and old people tell me about yourself!” That’s what I should do more of. I’m in a special position as pastor and shepherd to really ask people that question on Rejoice Sunday. “Tell me about yourself! Tell me about your good joyful and soulful self!” It just takes time. I think Rejoice is the Advent theme of today’s worship. Maybe those of you who are taking Christmas baskets to people can ask them how they are doing and really listen. Then you can ask others that may come into your life. “How are you? Tell me a little about yourself! Tell me about your amazing self! Tell me about your unique self!” These types of questions might come to mind.
The Advent theme for this week is “Live in the wonder of all those that touch your life” and then relay it to the Lord as we live and wonder during Advent at Christ becoming human and touching our personal lives. He will show us what we ought to be and can be. Each of us and everyone around us are made in His wonderful image. Alleluia! With that type of reflection on this glorious Gaudete, we look for better days dawning. The weather has been pretty good and a new day will dispel even that darkness around us. Even all the signs of Christmas, besides of course, the religious signs, but also the secular signs of Santa, Frosty and Rudolph may make this time a joyous time. So you are creating an ambiance of joy and anticipation. Alleluia! Keep it up, Church!
I am talking to myself when I say, “I would really like to say more often when sitting back in my chair after talking to somebody, “Tell me about your amazing self or just tell about yourself and be open to listening.” That what our Pope Francis has called us all to do. That’s what we hear Paul telling us in the Scriptures today. That’s what Zephaniah proclaims and the psalmist calls us to be thankful with wonder and consider the marvelous deeds God has wrought in each unique person. Again, Pope Francis wants us to reach out as much as possible to other folks that are outside our circle of friendship. So be joyous this week, be interested in others, listen and expect an ambiance of joy, anticipation and real caring. You are on your Advent journey. Alleluia!
Love, Fr. Bob