I am always grateful for my four years of Latin class in high school with Sister Thomas Aquinas. Today, perhaps more than any other, I can hear myself and my comrades greet her as she sweeps into the classroom hoping for us all to jump out of our seats to respond to her greeting of: “Gaudete!” with gusto: “Salve, Soror. Gratias tibi ago!*” She was never disappointed because she was the reason for our joy. Her deep love of learning and of the joy she engendered in us from deep within her was the impetus for our own. This feeling of remembrance is akin to the sensation of what I read this morning entitled Joy Creeping In,** a description that I think apropos of what I am trying to convey today about Advent. Listen and ponder, please.
The joy proper to Advent is a clear-eyed joy. Advent calls us to look directly at the world’s brokenness, to see the plight of the hungry, the poor and the prisoner, and to cry out for the coming of the day of justice and salvation. Listening to the season and the Scriptures (as we have done for the last two weeks), we feel joy creeping in. As we become aware of what the world is not, of what the world ought to be, we begin to rejoice in our knowledge of God: “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will also accomplish it.“
*”Thanks be to God!”
**Kimberly Hope Belcher, Give Us This Day, Liturgical Press, p.136