Monday, December 17, 2012

Gaudete Sunday

"The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear. On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem: Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged! The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior" (cf. Zep 3.14-18a).

Newtown, Conn.

Comfort, comfort, O my people,
Speak of peace, now says our God;
Comfort those who sit in darkness,
Mourning 'neath their sorrow's load.

Speak unto Jerusalem
Of the peace that waits for them;
Tell of all the sins I cover,

And that warfare now is over.

"God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior" (cf. Is 12.2-6).

Homs, Syria

Hark, the voice of one who's crying
In the desert far and near.
Bidding all to full repentance
Since the kingdom now is here.

O that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way;
Let the valleys rise to meet him
And the hills bow down to greet him.

"The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (cf. Phil 4.4-7).

O make straight what long was crooked, 
Make the rougher places plain; 
Let your hearts be true and humble, 
As befits his holy reign.  

For the glory of the Lord 
Now o'er earth is shed abroad; 
And all flesh shall see the token 
That his word is never broken.

"The crowds asked John the Baptist, 'What should we do?' He said to them in reply, 'Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise'" (cf. Lk 3.10-18).

Adoration of the Shepherds, Gerard van Honthorst (1622)
Peace is not a dream or something utopian; it is possible....   The peacemaker is the one who seeks the good of the other, the fullness of good in body and soul, today and tomorrow....
There is a need, then, to teach people to love one another, to cultivate peace and to live with good will rather than mere tolerance.... 
Evil is in fact overcome by good, and justice is to be sought in imitating God the Father who loves all his children.
 ~ Benedict XVI