In 8th grade, I was the sacristan for our weekly school Masses. My favorite job was preparing the priest’s vestments. Every Friday, I joyfully pulled out the “pink” vestment and set it up for Father. Pink was my favorite color! Father would quietly return it to the closet every week and replace it with a different vestment – I thought he just didn’t appreciate my taste in color! Years later, when I learned about the Liturgical Year and the significance of the “rose” colored vestment, I laughed at my childhood innocence and thought about how much I must have tested Father’s patience! And yes…It’s THAT time of year. The first of two Sundays when the rose colored vestments make an appearance. Today we celebrate GAUDETE SUNDAY, a reminder that we are moving closer to the joy of Christmas, the Nativity of Our Lord.
In the midst of our rejoicing though, we hear a somewhat troubling Gospel. John the Baptist, from his prison cell, sends his disciples out to find Jesus and to ask if He is truly the one sent by God, the one that John spent himself proclaiming. We, too, spend our lives proclaiming Jesus Christ and His Kingdom of Love and sometimes we need to refocus our lens. Our deep joy comes when the poor are treated with integrity and respect, when the hungry are nourished, when those who are powerful attend to the powerless and when mercy and forgiveness take center stage. Is this the Good News we bring? Will we set our sights not only on Christmas, but on the coming of Christ into our time and reality? Rejoice! The Kingdom of God is at hand!
Sister Michele Vincent Fisher, CSFN