Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Novena

The novena in honor of the Divine Infant begins today. Let us pray for the unborn, and for all the children in the world, especially those who are suffering abuse or neglect.

It is Gaudete Sunday. Let us rejoice, for the Lord is near. As Fr. Mark says :
Today’s Introit is one of the few drawn from Saint Paul. It is an exhortation to joy, but its mood is quiet and reflective. “Joy to you in the Lord at all times; once again I wish you joy. Give proof to all of your courtesy. The Lord is near. Nothing must make you anxious; in every need, make your requests known to God, praying and beseeching Him, and giving Him thanks as well” (Phil 4:4-6). What the Latin gives as, “gaudete,” and the English as “rejoice,” is astonishingly rich in Saint Paul’s Greek. Any one translation would be inadequate. Paul says, “chaírete.” It is the very same word used by the angel Gabriel to greet the Virgin of Nazareth. “Chaire, kecharitoménè!” “Joy to you, O full of grace!” (Lk 1:28). The word is untranslatable. Just when we think we have seized its meaning once and for all, another door opens inside it. “Chaírete” was the ordinary greeting of the Greeks. It embraces health, salvation, loveliness, grace, and joy, all at once. In the mouth and in the ear of Christians, the taste of the word is indescribable. “Grace to you, and loveliness, and joy in the Lord; again I wish you grace, and loveliness, and joy” (Phil 4:4). Paul’s greeting is not so much an imperative — a command to be joyful — as it is the imparting of a gift in the Lord. “What I wish for you, what I send you, what I give you in the Lord is grace, and loveliness, and joy.”
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4 comments:

SF said...

Thank you for the information about the novena.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Will join you in prayer...

Fr. Mark said...

Dear Elena, Thank you for the gracious referral. I corrected and revised the homily a bit, after preaching it at Mass this morning. I also changed the image to better reflect the message. Found a lovely Madonna in a rosy-hued robe.

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks, SF and Jackie! Let us all unite in prayer, there is so much to pray about.

Father, I read your revised homily. It is better than ever.