Saturday, December 27, 2008

3rd Sunday of Advent

Gaudete in Dominum, gaudete in Dominum, omnes gentes, Alleluia! [sung]

Where does true joy come form? Sadly, true joy is too rare. Even more sadly true joy does not come from cookies, steaks, movies or sleep. I say sadly because I’ve spent many hours and many dollars seeking true joy in these things. Where does true joy come from? Gaudete in Dominum…

In our first reading, Isaiah says he rejoices in the Lord who clothes him in salvation. In our psalm response, we sing the Blessed Virgin Mary’s song “My soul rejoices in God my Savior.” In our second reading St. Paul speaks of the joy of persevering in the holy life. Where then do we find true joy? Gaudete in Dominum…

True joy will always and only come from the salvation of Jesus Christ. We are afflicted by sadness, stress and division because we are still enslaved by sin. Not only are we guilty of individual sins but we do like captives. The doubt and brokenness of sin keep us from experiencing the fullness of life. Jesus Christ is the true giver of joy: not MasterCard, Visa, or American Express. We try to imitate this joy by giving our own gifts but our best efforts fall short and like John the Baptist we are unworthy to even unfasten the sandals of Jesus who brings us true joy. Gaudete in Dominum…

So I’d like to help you find more joy this Advent by making a good confession. Our letter with confession and Mass times will be arriving at your homes this week. Until then let me remind you to pray and P.R.A.Y.

Prepare: find 5 or 10 minutes in the coming busy days to go over your life since your last confession. Write things down if you have to, even politicians use notes, why shouldn’t you?

Remember Mortal Sins: Each and every mortal sin must be confessed each year- and we remember that we should avoid receiving Holy Communion if we are in a state of Mortal Sin. If we are in doubt- bring it to confession.

Avoid generalities: Just like with your doctor, the more specific and simply you can state your sins, the better your confession. Don’t worry about context or reasons- if Father wants them, he’ll ask for them. Satan, our enemy, always wants to obscure things. Keep It Simple.

You’re not alone: the loneliest place in the world is the last 5 feet before the confessional. Remember, Father goes to confession just like you. Everyone else who is in line? They are going to confession as well. We all stand before God as sinners to receive mercy through Jesus Christ.

Once I was just a penitent and now I am a penitent and a confessor. I have always found joy, true joy in confession. I pray that you will to as you prepare for Christmas. I pray you will desire to come back to confession more frequently. I even hope you will leave the confessional, softly singing: Gaudete in Dominum…

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