Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reflection on Gaudete Sunday's Gospel Reading (December 12)

Raise a glass… the pink week of Advent is toast-worthy!

Readings for the Third Sunday - Gaudete Sunday - of Advent:
Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10
Psalm 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11


Jesus is asked, "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?" [Mt. 11:3] To this He answered, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them." [Mt. 11:4-5]

Let us take a moment to review the spiritual meaning of each part of this response.

(1) "The blind receive their sight." When Jesus spoke of the blind receiving their sight, He was speaking of their enlightenment to spiritual matters.
We learn this truth from the Holy Bible when the Apostles asked Jesus how come He spoke in parables. To this, Jesus answered, "To you has been given the secret of the Kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables: in order that they may indeed look but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; so that they may not turn again and be forgiven." [Mk. 4:10-2] For those who have hardened their hearts, it is not meant for them to understand spiritual things.

(2) The lame walk. Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him." [Jn. 14:6-7] Without Jesus, we are lame. We fall in all our undertakings. We walk in the darkness. With Jesus, even though we may suffer for a while, we can still walk because we have a blessed hope.

(3) The lepers are cleansed. Leprosy is a symbol of the state of our souls when we live in sin.
Covered with horrifying stains, we are not worthy of being in the presence of the Lord. But through the Sacrament of Confession, we can be cleansed. Did Jesus not say to His disciples, "'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.' When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.'" [Jn. 20:21-3]

(4) The deaf hear. As the blind see, the deaf hear. Those who have hardened their hearts do not hear anything. This is especially truthful of those who reject the grace of God, therefore sinning against the Holy Spirit. [Lk. 12:10] For them, it is not what God wants. It is what "I want!" They have placed their will above the Divine Will of God. Those who are sincere in their search of eternal life, they hear the voice of the Father in their hearts. And everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, they go to Jesus. [Jn. 6:45]

(5) The dead are raised. The dead are those who have no life in them. They walk the path of darkness.  Jesus taught the way that one must follow to obtain the resurrection of life. It is through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. "Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." [Jn. 6:53]

(6) The poor have good news brought to them. The poor are the sincere who seek the truth, the way and the life through Jesus Christ. Jesus said to His disciples, "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned." [Mk. 15:15-6] Therefore, the poor are also those who are baptized, the Sacrament of Baptism being their admission into the Body of Christ.

Jesus is the Good News, the Light of the world. "The true light, which enlighten everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God." [Jn. 1:9-13]

These were the teachings of Jesus. Those who embrace a spiritual mind, they understand these Words. They submit themselves to the Divine Will of the Lord in obedience and servitude. They are among the blind who have received their sight. For they know the promise of the Lord for those who persevere to the end. "See, I am coming soon; My reward is with Me, to repay according to everyone's work." [Rev. 22:12]

Catholic Doors 
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday 

And -- from Father Z (God Bless him!):

You can hear the prayers for Gaudete Sunday, the 3rd Sunday of Advent as per the 1962 Missale Romanum.  Father Z speaks all the prayers and readings and also sings the Collect and Post Communion prayers in the Solemn Tone.
He also has some more seasonal music and chant for Gaudete.

http://www.wdtprs.com/prayercazt/071212_3_advent.mp3   Father Z writes:
"If priests who are learning to say the older form of Holy Mass can get these prayers in their ears, they will be able to pray them with more confidence. So, priests are my very first concern. 
However, these audio projects can be of great help to lay people who attend Holy Mass in the Traditional, or extraordinary form: by listening to them ahead of time, and becoming familiar with the sound of the before attending Mass, they will be more receptive to the content of the prayers and be aided in their full, conscious and active participation.

My pronunciation of Latin is going to betray something of my nationality, of course. Men who have as their mother tongue something other than English will sound a little different.  However, we are told that the standard for the pronunciation of Latin in church is the way it is spoken in Rome.  Since I have spent a lot of time in Rome, you can be pretty sure my accent will not be too far off the mark.
I deliver them at a slower pace than I would ordinarily during Mass.  But hopefully the pace will help you hear the words a little more clearly. 

If this was useful to you, let your priest friends know this resource is available.  And kindly make a little donation using the donation button in the blog post or or by clicking here.  This is a labor of love, but those donations really help.  And don’t forget to check out the PODCAzTs!
Pray for me, listen carefully, and practice practice practice."

SOURCE: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2007/12/wdtprs-on-the-3rd-sunday-of-advent/

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