Rejoice, Rejoice!! Today we are rejoicing. Why? We are half way through Advent. We have two weeks until Christmas and all the gifts. We have plans made for family gathering for Christmas. As a lover of history, I like this season because it tells of all the preparation God made to get the world ready for the Messiah.
We also rejoice for we realize that God was born into our world. God came to us to call us back to God. But it is more than a historic event. It is here and now a call to make God present in our world. We do so by the way we live the life God has given us.
Jesus born into our world is God's gift to us. Now we are asked to give back to God a gift. It is what we have done with the life given to us. How have we been Christ to others? We may not always be the best. So we need God and the Catholic Church's help.
We hear in the first reading today, "Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy." We know Isaiah was referring to those in exile coming back to Jerusalem but it is also a call from God to us to return. God ransomed us and calls us to repent where we have sinned and return to God's life so we can inherit everlasting joy (heaven).
Today, we have an opportunity to say we are sorry for the sins we committed against God and any of God's people (family, friends co-workers etc.) It is an opportunity for us to return and be filled with joy. We rejoice because God has given us this opportunity. Like the people in Isaiah's day some will return and some will not. Reconciliation is our RSVP to God's gift.
I rejoice when I receive Reconciliation. I know God has forgiven me and the Church has expressed that with the words of absolution. So it is time to REJOICE.
Fr. Lou Jaeger