If the parish had a set of rose vestments, this Sunday is one of two Sundays in the year when they could be used The other occasion is the 4th Sunday of Lent. Many ordinary expressions give us a clue as to the Church’s use of this colour on these occasions. The expressions I am thinking of are: coming up smelling like roses, everything is rosy. He or she is in the pink. The expressions speak of health and well being, that there are few troubles or worries.
The readings are filled with references to joy and happiness: I exult for joy in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God. Almost these exact words of Isaiah fall from the lips of Our Lady when she responds to Elizabeth greeting her and calling her the most blessed woman of all. St Paul writing to the Thessalonians takes up the time and makes an amazing statement: Be happy at all times! Be happy at all times, we find ourselves saying, is impossible. But is it?
In the face of the events of life that beset us we feel buffeted this way and that as if trying to keep our footing in cyclonic winds. Our businesses take a down-turn, our health or that of loved ones suffers a set back, death robs us family and friends. Are these things to be happy about? No they are not but that is not what the inspired word is saying. The word is: be happy at all times with a happiness that is a gift from God, the fruit of our believing and living continually in God’s presence. God never abandons us. We can feel like that but it is not reality. God’s loving, provident will holds us in existence. How could we be forgotten or abandoned.
This truth of God’s abiding is the source from which flows our continual happiness. We can be buffeted by the events of life but anchored on this truth we can be happy, counting our blessings, always thanking God. With Mary and Isaiah we can shout out: my soul rejoices in God, my saviour.
Fr Adrian Farrelly
|Dec 23, 2014||Third Sunday of Advent 14.12.2014||Listen||Download|