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All Issues > Volume 14, Issue 1


<< Sunday, December 14, 1997 >> Third Sunday of Advent
 
Zephaniah 3:14-18
Isaiah 12

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Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:10-18

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CATALYTIC CONVERTERS

 
"Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again. Rejoice!" —Philippians 4:4
 

Paul made one of the greatest proclamations in history when he commanded the Philippians: "Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again. Rejoice!" On the day Paul first met the Philippians, he and Silas were beaten, stripped, scourged, thrown in jail, and had their feet tied to a stake (Acts 16:22-24). Under these terrible conditions, Paul and Silas decided to rejoice and sing praises to the Lord (Acts 16:25). This joyful praise was catalytic. It was followed by an earthquake, which resulted in freedom from chains and prison (Acts 16:26). Next, the jailer and his family were converted to Christ (Acts 16:33). At Philippi, Paul personally experienced the power of praise and joy. So he knew what he was talking about when he commanded: "Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again. Rejoice!"

Paul came to realize that he had joy not in spite of sufferings but rather by means of sufferings. Sufferings are not incompatible with joy; instead, they are even necessary to rejoice always. Paul proclaimed: "Even now I find my joy in the suffering I endure for you" (Col 1:24). We rejoice in the measure that we share Christ's sufferings (1 Pt 4:13). Therefore, it is impossible to rejoice in the Lord always unless we suffer with Christ.

Joy is catalytic. It sets off a chain-reaction of miracles leading to salvation. Redemptive suffering is a catalyst of catalysts. It leads to joy.

 
Prayer: Father, on this Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday, reveal to me the mysteries of joy.
Promise: "Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel!" —Zep 3:14
Praise: Alleluia! Praise Jesus, our risen Lord, soon to come! Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!
 
 
 
Nihil obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, June 1, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 9, 1997
 
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 14, Issue 1
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