coming up roses
"They will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee." —Isaiah 35:10
In the Catholic community, we call today "Gaudete Sunday," meaning "Rejoice Sunday." We rejoice because the Lord's Christmas coming is near. Our priests wear rose vestments today to express our exuberant joy. We are flushed with joy because the world's dire circumstances are overshadowed by God's presence. In the shadow of His wings, we shout for joy (Ps 63:8). We rejoice not in the circumstances but in the Lord of the circumstances (Phil 4:4). We rejoice because God is with us (Is 7:14; Mt 1:23).
Jesus is the same today as yesterday (Heb 13:8). "The blind recover their sight, cripples walk, lepers are cured, the deaf hear, dead men are raised to life, and the poor have the good news preached to them" (Mt 11:5). "Despite the increase of sin, grace has far surpassed it" (Rm 5:20). Therefore, "be patient," my brothers and sisters, "until the coming of the Lord" (Jas 5:7). "You may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials; but this is so that your faith, which is more precious than the passing splendor of fire-tried gold, may by its genuineness lead to praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ appears" (1 Pt 1:6-7).
Prayer: Father, may the joy inside me rise to fever pitch (Acts 8:8).
Promise: "The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song." —Is 35:1-2
Praise: Praise Jesus, Who was, Who is, and Who will be forever! (Rv 1:8)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007
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