Greetings from the Confidentia Shrine,
The pink candle I lit! It’s Gaudete Sunday! High point of the Advent season, reminding us to be joyful because Christmas is near! Gaudete, a personal call for us as joyful apostles, living the covenant.
In his letter to the Philippians (4:4f) St. Paul advises us: “Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again, Rejoice! Everyone should see how unselfish you are. The Lord is near. Dismiss all anxiety from your minds.”
Dismiss all anxiety!? Amidst all the still to dos on my Christmas list? Amidst the apprehension that I may lose my job? When anticipating the possible tensions overshadowing the holidays? When waiting for the results of my medical tests? When …
All of which St. Paul had no idea … or did he? We know that St. Paul endured many hardships for Christ’s sake, but he also knew that it is unbecoming for an apostle to be pessimistic, gloomy, negative, and overly anxious.
As joyful apostles we are united in a covenant of love with Mary, the Queen of Apostles. Her Advent gave her plenty reasons to be anxious: when receiving Gabriel’s message, when facing Joseph thereafter, or her parents, or the gossip of her neighbors in Nazareth. Moreover, the long journey to Bethlehem, the lack of empathy of the innkeepers, and her lack of the basic necessities to welcome her child into this world.
Mary, our MTA, knows our anxieties and she wants to transform them into opportunities to grow in a deeper love for her child. The coming ten days will give us opportunities to join her in a posada or shelter seeking. May these be occasions for us to open our heart for the divine child, the true reason of our joy!
Wishing you continued Advent joys and blessings and a truly Merry Christmas,
Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary