The Third Sunday in Advent – Gaudete Sunday
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Dear Parishioners of our Beloved St. Paul:
Praised be Jesus Christ and Mary His Most Holy Mother! We come today to the Third Sunday in Advent- Gaudete Sunday meaning the Sunday of Rejoicing. Rejoice in the Lord, always, again I say Rejoice! Thus did our Father and Patron St. Paul write in his Epistle to Philemon. And we, too, follow his command as we rejoice today because our salvation is so near.
Immediately on this Sunday we notice that the priest has put away the somber violet for just one day and wears instead the lighter color rose. The candle of the Advent wreath is also rose. It dramatically reminds us that the Lord is near and in merely ten days we will see His glory as we kneel once more at the manger and behold the Light of the World, a light which no darkness will ever extinguish. Even nature itself will assist us, as we see at Christmas time the light return unconquered as the days begin to get brighter and longer.
What a wonderful time then to contemplate the wondrous light that Our Blessed Mother brought to the very center of the New World on December 12, 1531.
There once was a civilization that lived in a world apart. To their north was a great desert which no one had ever crossed. To their south was an enormous and endless jungle through which no one ever emerged. To their east and west lay the vast expanse of the Ocean Sea. These people were the Aztecs who inhabited the modern nation of Mexico but they called themselves the Mexica.
Perhaps because they were so isolated, the evil one enslaved them and the ancient enemy of our race, the prince of darkness and the father of lies (we never use capitals when writing of the devil) was openly worshipped. And he demanded what he always demands, human sacrifice. Ancient Mexico had become a river of human blood. In 1488 when the Temple of the Sun was dedicated, over 20,000 men were offered in sacrifice in three days’ time. But amidst the horror of their surroundings the people prayed that a River of Light would flow into their darkness. Their own prophets had foretold that one day the Mother of the True God would come to their rescue and stop the human sacrifice.
Although the Spanish had conquered the Aztec Empire by 1521 (having first arrived in Mexico in 1519), only the Immaculate One would conquer their hearts and souls. On December 9, 1531 (the day of the winter solstice because the Gregorian calendar had not yet been inaugurated) the Light burst into their darkness. Our Lady appeared on the Tepeyac hill to Juan Diego and asked that a Church be built on that very spot where, as she said, I will demonstrate, manifest, and make known my love and mercy for all who live united in these lands. In the course of four days Our Lady appeared five times to Juan Diego and on Monday, December 12, 1531, she revealed herself as the Virgin of Guadalupe (a name which means River of Light). On that day her miraculous image formed on the tilma of Juan Diego and it is enshrined in the great Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. It is a continuous miracle because it is an image not made by human hands but given to us by God Himself. In merely 10 years (from 1531 to 1541) twelve million of the Aztecs were baptized through Our Lady of Guadalupe.
May the Holy Virgin enlighten our darkness and bring us to the true Light of the World. For this weekend please pray before the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe (La Guadalupana) and St. Juan Diego. They will be in the Church on Saturday and Sunday. There will be a Solemn High Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite on Monday December 12, 2016 at 6.30PM. It is the Feast of Our lady of Guadalupe.
Please be sure to save the Christmas schedule so that we may all make our Christmas confession. You will notice there are many hours for confession and it is my fond hope that very many will confess so that we may greet the Christ Child in humility and love.
THE MAN THE BOY AND THE DONKEY
A good priest friend sent me the following charming story that I believe will be of assistance to all of us. Here is the charming story:
A man and his son headed to market with their donkey. A man on a horse passed them and asked, “Why aren’t you riding your donkey?”
The man placed his son on the donkey, and they continued on their way. They passed by a family working in their fields. A young girl said, “Look at that lazy boy riding while his father is walking.”
The man told his son to get off the donkey, and he climbed on. They passed a group of women and one said, “What a selfish man, making his son walk while he rides.”
The man asked his son to climb on the donkey with him. They passed a traveler on the road, who said, “That poor donkey is carrying too much weight.”
Not knowing what to do, the man and his son began to carry the donkey. But the donkey kicked so violently they released their hold and the donkey ran away.
The Moral of the Story: In striving to please everyone, one ends up pleasing no one. Striving to please everyone can make one feel as if what one is doing is never right, and one loses one’s ability to make decisions. May we all use this most holy time of Advent to pray before we speak so that our speech will always be charitable. Remember the wonderful maxim of St. Josémaria Escrivà: Speak and you will often regret it; remain silent, and you never will.