“Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete.”
(Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice)
The entrance antiphon for this particular Sunday gives the day it’s name – Gaudete Sunday.
‘Gaudete’ means ‘to rejoice’. At Mass this morning, the pink candle was lit on the Advent Wreath, signifying our joy. But what is the cause of our joy? It is the knowledge that the Lord is coming – not only the remembrance of His first coming, in humility, but the sure knowledge that He will come again, this time in power for it will be His final coming. We profess this belief every time we pray the Creed – “He will come again in glory”.
The message of Divine Mercy expresses this same belief and in the Diary of Saint Faustina, the Lord repeatedly reminds the young nun that He will return. In fact, He also tells her very explicitly that this message of Divine Mercy will prepare the world for His second coming. One section of the Diary is subtitled ‘the infinite goodness of God in sending us His only-begotten Son’ and it contains this passage –
“God, You did not destroy man after his fall, but in Your mercy You forgave him, You forgave in a divine way; that is, not only have You absolved him from guilt, but You have bestowed upon him every grace. Mercy has moved You to deign to descend among us and lift us up from our misery. God will descend to earth; the Immortal Lord of lords will abase Himself.”
This coming of the Lord, this abasement of which St Faustina speaks, is the very thing we celebrate and recall today. The transcendent God will become imminent; the Creator will take the flesh of the creature. And it is for this reason that we truly rejoice.
Perhaps in our prayers today, we might take a moment to ponder this great mystery of our Faith and to offer praise and thanks to the Lord – the Lord Who came and Who will come again.