This Sunday is called “Gaudete” Sunday…from the Latin “to rejoice”…for the Lord’s coming is near! The readings this Sunday have both a sense of expectancy and joyfulness.
Isaiah tells us that the desert will break forth in bloom and we will see the splendor of God and the weak and the fearful of heart will be made strong. The blind will see, the deaf will hear and mute will sing…all the ransomed will return and there will be gladness and joy among the throngs of people as they enter Zion.
Wow…what a vision of the Reign of God bursting forth on the earth! As we think about this vision of the Reign of God, and we look around at all the suffering and war and famine and injustices…our joyfulness can quickly turn to sadness and feelings of being cheated out of Isaiah’s vision of the Reign of God…OR…instead of feeling cheated or sorry for myself, I can stand up and work with the Holy Spirit to make that vision a reality. Remember the Angel Gabriel’s words, for nothing is impossible with God.
I can work to build up the Reign of God in the midst of the injustices and fear and violence by speaking out and standing up on behalf of the homeless, the immigrant, people of color, Muslims, Jews, women and girls, members of the LGBTQ community, many of whom feel fearful and despised because of who they are and where they come from.
Each one of us is called to be the voice of the prophet crying out in a wilderness, to lay down our weapons of war and destruction and to build the peaceable kingdom.
As we reflect on “Gaudete Sunday” and its meaning let us commit to joyfully building up the Reign of God. What will I do this week to build up the Reign of God? Who will I stand with this week?