Tuesday, Dec. 13th 2016

Sunday Reflection: “Rejoice in the Lord”

Reflection for the Third Week of Advent

By Johnnatan de José María Ibarra Juárez, Freshman from the Diocese of Amarillo

“Gaudete in Domino semper” (Rejoice in the Lord always) are the words that the church sings today with a singular spirit of hope and faith because our Savior is near. Our hearts have been preparing for two weeks already; hearts that throb with desire to receive the Son of God, the light and the heat of the world. Our tired hearts recognize that no worldly creature can fill the dark emptiness that embraces them. Nevertheless, the prophet Isaiah announces to us promising words, “The eyes of the blind shall see, and the ears of the deaf be opened,” and he continues, “everlasting joy shall be upon your heads; you shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35: 5, 10).  Jesus, the Emmanuel, is on his way, and he comes to inflame our hearts and to give joy to them.

However, the glee that fills our hearts today because of His coming cannot just stay within ourselves. Saint John the Baptist prepared his heart, and he also went out to help the lost people of Israel to prepare their hearts with repentance and love (Mt. 11: 2-11). In the same way, our hearts that rejoice today in the Lord should go out to encounter the needy and the poor. It is a time to share with them the joy of His coming and to invite them to repentance because the good Lord, light and mercy to the world, is coming.

Let us continue this journey not alone, but with the help and example of Our Lady. The church, in this third week of Advent, gives us the opportunity to see the example of Mary in her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe. She came to encounter and to prepare the hearts of thousands of indigenous people in young America to receive the Word of God. In other words, Our Lady of Guadalupe, being one like them, came to prepare the way of the Lord. She is the one who made their hearts turn to the true Savior and God—the Savior that was coming to give brighter light than the suns.  Mother of Guadalupe, help us to turn our hearts away from the gods of the world that distract them with noise, egoism, and superficial things.

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