Catechism Conection
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Third Sunday in Advent Cycle A 2016

Catechism Connections
Gaudete Sunday  Cycle A  2016
Isaiah 35:1-6a; Psalm 146:6-10; James 5:7-10; 
Matthew 11:2-11
 
This weekend marks the fact that we have passed the mid-point of our Advent journey, and are entering the home stretch.  Gaudete Sunday or the rose colored Sunday means “Rejoice”; we are getting closer to celebrating the mysteries of the Incarnation.  In most parishes and homes at this point, the  scurrying is getting more and more frantic.  The “Giving Tree” is overflowing with packages ready to be distributed to those in need.  The shopping and office parties are in full swing.  Concerts are being held alongside Santa’s breakfast for the children, and Christmas music is blaring in all the stores and on the television specials.  It is hard to quiet oneself for the remainder of our Advent waiting.  Gaudete means joy is right around the corner, but it also may signal our last chances to step back and spiritually prepare for “the coming of the Lord” before Christmas is actually here.  The readings this weekend again describe the messianic age: Isaiah tells us the desert will exult; the steepe will bloom with abundant flowers; the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf will be cleared, the lame will leap like a stag.  Matthew tells us more of the same when John the Baptist inquires: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.  The widow and the orphan and the poor are cared for in the messianic age, in the kingdom of God.  Pope Francis has recently and repeatedly called us to care for the poor, to show mercy and compassion toward the poor.  The Catechism agrees in paragraph 2443, when it tells us that that is how we will be recognized as Christ’s disciples.  How did we care for the poor?  Did we reach out and tell them the good news?  We are called to mercy and compassion toward the poor, to strive to be merciful as Our Father is merciful (Luke 6:36).  Come, Lord Jesus!
 
 
From the Catechism:
 
2443God blesses those who come to the aid of the poor and rebukes those who turn away from them: “Give to him who begs from you, do not refuse him who would borrow from you”; “you received without pay, give without pay.”  It is by what they have done for the poor that Jesus Christ will recognize his chosen ones.  When “the poor have the Good News preached to them,” is the sign of Christ’s presence.