Dec 20, 2018
My brothers and sisters in God's family,
Rejoice, Rejoice! The Lord is near! The King of Israel is in your midst, says the prophet Zephaniah in the first reading today!
The reality is that God is near and is within each one of us. Sometimes we are like the little girl who went with her parents to Church every Sunday. Finally, she asked her mom: " We go to God's house but why is He never home when we visit?" Could this happen to us that we show up Sunday after Sunday and as we leave we don't recall that we found God there? Could we be like those ex-Catholics who joined the protestant churches because they never heard God's Word proclaimed or read in the Catholic Church? We read from the Jewish Scriptures (the Old Testament), the Epistles of St. Paul and other writings by the Apostles and from the Gospels every Sunday. Rejoice the Lord is near. He is here! Rejoice.
Perhaps, we need the words of the deacon in the Byzantine and Orthodox Churches who remind the folks throughout the service: Pay attention! God is speaking! Be attentive to the Word! Perhaps every now and then it wouldn't hurt to call out. Come back, quit your daydreaming! Leave God in charge of the rest of the day. Pay attention.
St. Paul writes to the Philippians: Rejoice in the Lord always! I shall say it again; Rejoice!
Your kindness shall be known to all...Have no anxiety at all. The peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Let's rejoice together.