Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

POTD: Pretty In Pink, Advent Reflection III

Priests attend a mass for the university students in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican December 11, 2008.
REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito

It's Guadete Sunday which is why the priests are wearing rose vestments, they get pissed when you say pink. Gaudete Sunday is the third Sunday in Advent called so because the first word to the introit of the Mass is... you guessed it, Gaudete, which means rejoice! It marks the mid point of Advent and according to Catholic Encyclopedia,
In both Office and Mass throughout Advent continual reference is made to our Lord's second coming, and this is emphasized on the third Sunday by the additional signs of gladness permitted on that day. Gaudete Sunday is further marked by a new Invitatory, the Church no longer inviting the faithful to adore merely "The Lord who is to come", but calling upon them to worship and hail with joy "The Lord who is now nigh and close at hand". The Nocturn lessons from the Prophecy of Isaias describe the Lord's coming and the blessings that will result from it, and the antiphons at vespers re-echo the prophetic promises. The joy of expectation is emphasized by the constant Alleluias, which occur in both Office and Mass throughout the entire season.
In the Mass, the
Introit "Gaudete in Domino semper" strikes the same note, and gives its name to the day. The Epistle again incites us to rejoicing, and bids us repare to meet the coming Saviour with prayers and supplication and thanksgiving, whilst the Gospel, the words of St. John Baptist, warns us that the Lamb of God is even now in our midst, though we appear to know Him not.
Today is also the day that the Vatican officially lit its Christmas Tree - as the Gospel and nature of Gaudete Sunday prescribes. The Light of the world is coming, we can look on the lights of Christmas and the glimmer and hint at the much brighter light that is Jesus. But as huge as a miracle and intervention as the birth of Christ (which we anticipate and celebrate in this and the Christmas Season), we are reminded that rhetorical flourishes aside, he did not appear, but was born of a woman. He was not born in a royal palace attended by servants and senators - but was born in a stall attended by barnyard animals and a few shepherds. You know how the rest of the reflection goes... so Gaudete in Domino semper - rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice (Philippians 4:4).

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1 comment:

William D. Lindsey said...

They do object to the use of the term "pink," don't they, Mattheus? And yet pink is that I see.

I like how you juxtapose the pageantry with the event we're remembering in the pageant. Thanks to St. Francis, we at least have pictorial representations of the humble stable in many churches now, to remind us of the fundamental layers under the prettified, pinkified story.

And that beautiful and very simple song that was composed with humble guitar and not the organ, "Stille Nacht," by a simple backwoods Austrian priest.