We call today Gaudete Sunday because “gaudete” means rejoice. In the readings for this Sunday, Dec. 17, we’re given a reason to rejoice — because God’s justice is at hand. He has come to save us, and we receive this in our baptism. The readings make a strong connection with the readings we hear during Lent. What Jesus began at Christmas is completed at Easter, and we’re encouraged to think about our baptism as a reminder of this. We hear the reading from Isaiah that Jesus chose as an introduction to himself in the beginning of his public ministry, and we hear John introduce Jesus as the one who would come after him, and make baptism more than a symbol. The forgiveness of our sins in baptism is our reason to rejoice, because when we’re forgiven, we experience all of the gifts that we hear in the jubilee text of the first reading.
Tag archive: Scripture Reflection
The readings for this Sunday, Dec. 10, keep us focused on the second coming, as the first two weeks of Advent do. We hear God’s original promise to come to earth to save God’s people, and we hear God’s continued promise to come and finish what he started in Jesus’ establishing the reign of God on earth. Our funky, three week Advent is a keeper of time as we draw closer to Christmas, and a reminder that we work within God’s timing, not our own. Peter reinforces this in the second reading, where he speaks of a day being like a thousand years to God and vice versa. The Gospel recalls our baptism as a sign of our identity as children of God, inheritors of God’s promise of salvation, and our need to pay attention to the prophetic voice of the John the Baptists in our lives.
The readings for this Sunday, Dec. 3, are a little bridge between our experience of God as King of the Universe and our experience of God as a tiny, innocent, helpless baby. The baby is going to be our focus soon, but we know that Jesus isn’t helpless. Our God has always come to us in ways that we can understand, this first week of Advent, we’re encouraged to pay attention to the many ways that Jesus reveals himself to us, to look for him everywhere in our lives, and to make our hearts ready to see him when he’s with us.
The readings for this Sunday, Nov. 26, tell us that on the day we celebrate most particularly the Kingship of Jesus, we focus on him as being a shepherd—one of the dirtiest, least desirable jobs of the ancient world. This is our King—our God—the one who loves us so much that he uses his authority to become the lowest of the low in order to save us. And our salvation, we’re told, is dependent on our willingness to do the same.
The readings for this Sunday, Nov. 19, are a reminder of God’s protective, fulfilling love. Recalling the image from the Jewish Scriptures of our relationship with God being like a marriage, our readings invite us further up and farther in to our experience of God’s care. They also help us to understand how we can respond to that love in our every day lives, taking the resources that God has given us, and using them for the benefit of others. We’re reminded to be courageous and trusting that God will help us accomplish whatever God calls us to.
The readings for this Sunday, Nov. 12, are all about God’s Wisdom and how it relates to our lives. God’s Wisdom makes lives better, and prepares us to meet Jesus. Wisdom seeks us out, wants to draw us in. It helps us to see things as they are, and to act in ways that are right and good. It helps us to see the truth about our situations, and to not get caught up in fear or anxiety. How does being prepared help to reduce anxiety in our lives? How does it make us more fit for meeting Jesus in the Incarnation and in the Second Coming?
The readings for this Sunday, Oct. 22, show us that, even when we can’t see it, God is working in every area of our lives. God used a pagan, conquering king, Cyrus, to free his people from exile and let them go home to Israel. Paul continues to give thanks for his friends, as well as to encourage them to live the call that they’ve received to represent the Gospel in every aspect of their lives. Jesus, when the Pharisees tried to trick him into saying something that could get him in trouble, made a bold statement about how we should live in relationship to our government—whatever that might be.
In the readings for this Sunday, Oct. 1, things escalate quickly in the God-isn’t-fair theme. Last week, we had to be happy for people who get stuff that we don’t, and this week we are told flat out that it’s not God who isn’t fair, but us.
The readings for this Sunday, Sept. 17, make God’s expectations of forgiveness crystal clear. The expectation is that, since God forgives us, we have to find a way to forgive one another.
The readings for this Sunday, September 10, remind us of the importance of giving people the opportunity to make good decisions, and to make up for them when they don’t. We’re the custodians of our relationships, and if we don’t care for them properly, the responsibility falls on us. To live the law of love, means living in accountability.