Third Sunday of Advent- Gaudete!
"Don't worry, be happy"--was a popular song about 14 years ago. It really was a Christian message. In today's second reading St. Paul tells the Thesalonians "Be happy all the times...because this is what God expects you to do in Christ Jesus."
A fond memory that I have of this time of the year when I was growing up in New Hampshire is that it seemed to be the time of the year that everyone was happy. It is harder to perceive if that still is the case, if people find this time of the year one of cheer and happiness. Perhaps we have trod so far off the path of the true meaning of the season that we've been cut off of from the source of all happiness--Christ.
I left part of Paul's passage out, his recipe for happiness--"pray constantly; and for all things give thanks to God." This is the secret to happiness, to ultimately see everything as some how tied into God's will.
Try to do this for the next hour. Speak to God about all that troubles you, excites you, worries you. Give thanks for everything. If you are the recipient of slow service, a long line at the store--thank God! See what a difference it makes. "Don't worry, be happy."
Michael Dubruiel wrote a book to help people deepen their experience of the Mass. He titled it, How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist. You can read about it here.
How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist gives you nine concrete steps to help you join your own sacrifice to the sacrifice of Christ as you:
- Serve: Obey the command that Jesus gave to his disciples at the first Eucharist.
- Adore: Put aside anything that seems to rival God in importance.
- Confess: Believe in God’s power to make up for your weaknesses.
- Respond" Answer in gesture, word, and song in unity with the Body of Christ.
- Incline: Listen with your whole being to the Word of God.
- Fast: Bring your appetites and desires to the Eucharist.
- Invite: Open yourself to an encounter with Jesus.
- Commune: Accept the gift of Christ in the Eucharist.
- Evangelize :Take him and share the Lord with others.
Filled with true examples, solid prayer-helps, and sound advice, How to Get the Most Out of the Eucharist shows you how to properly balance the Mass as a holy banquet with the Mass as a holy sacrifice. With its references to Scripture, quotations from the writings and prayers of the saints, and practical aids for overcoming distractions one can encounter at Mass, this book guides readers to embrace the Mass as if they were attending the Last Supper itself.