Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gaudete Sunday

It has been called to my attention that when I say I'm working on grad papers, I actually end up blogging. There may be some truth to this. Today, however, I fully intended on paper-ing it up all day today but a little birdie/angel/christinemarienajarian reminded me of my commitment (indirectly reminded. She really just called me out for my usual Captain Distraction shenanigans) to blog every Sunday of Advent.

And I'm glad she did! Because I totally would've past over a.) my Advent resolution and b.) this beautiful day of REJOICING. Because let's be honest, nothing about writing a final paper really leads me to rejoice except when it's finished.

Let me back track to yesterday which was the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I was reminded in a very real way yesterday of this patroness' power when a former youth group member of mine asked me to pray for someone contemplating abortion. I don't want to turn this blog into a political anything, I just want to reflect on Mary and her 'yes' that without which, this season of Advent wouldn't be celebrated. I just can't even imagine where we would all be. I also can't imagine what this girl must be going through. The Bible tells us Mary was scared. There are things that God- or more often our sin- throws our way that freak us out. There are things that come about in our lives that are unfair. But if we remain closed, we only end up causing hurt to ourselves in the long run. I have learned this on many occasions! So I really pray for that girl just because of what she may go through somewhere down the road. We can ALL learn from Mary's openness to God's Will. So I really was called to unite my prayers in a special way to Mary and what Our Lady stands for yesterday. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

So what are we rejoicing for on Gaudete Sunday anyways? What does that even mean, Gaudete? And why is the color pink? Why is it celebrated the Third Week, not the one right before Christmas??

Honestly, friends, I'm in grad school and I'm doing enough research myself right now... If you would like me to elaborate on Reverend Peter C. Yorke and the catechetical method he developed in the early 1900s, I would be happy to elaborate. These are questions, however, you may have to answer yourselves :)

I will tell you that Gaudete means 'rejoice' and Wikipedia (not a source I use for grad papers! or well, at least that I include in a bibliography...) and that the readings for this Sunday are happy rather than the somber, penitential ones the previous two weeks.

I love the first reading from Zephaniah. It really is a message of Hope. This past week, the organization I work for ran an Advent reflection for people at a parish and the theme was about "Awaiting God's Kingdom in a Broken World". It is easy for us to get discouraged and forget about the hope that Christ promises. If nothing else, this Sunday really is about remembering Christ's fulfillment of God's promise to us for eternal life. A life beyond this that we can't imagine, but I'm pretty sure won't entail grad papers... :)

Another reason for me to rejoice this weekend: I MADE SOMETHING EDIBLE to contribute to a cookie exchange some of my friends were hosting. I was intimidated and nervous about the whole venture because as Sr. Agnes once told me, "You don't cook. You re-heat". Touche, Sr. Agnes. But my friend Kaitrin gave me a recipe that didn't entail BAKING or COOKING. I KNOW.

Without giving away any of my SECRETS, you can probably infer that nothing about this process was organic or healthy, but rather all ingredients were highly processed already and simply necessitated me gathering materials together in a bowl. Regardless if they were 6,000+ calories a piece, or whether we will be finding marks of chocolate on our walls for months to come- this is an achievement for me, and the whole event was a success. I have documented proof:

Yes, they may look like reindeer poop. No one said they had to be aesthetically pleasing. I'll work on that for next year. Plus, there was Rock Band at this cookie exchange- probably the only way my friends knew they could get me to attend since I was so freaked out by the cooking- so all were distracted and paid no attention (or at least did not comment on) the fact I won't be getting a culinary award any time soon. Rejoice!

Until the next candle...

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