Monday, December 15, 2008
Today I am continuing with some of my thoughts from Gaudete Sunday taken from the newest published Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2009 I usually use the online site for Sacred Space but have just received this book and it begins with Advent so here is some of the yesterday's reflection: "Christian joy is not vapid hilarity nor having a laugh, but rather a deep contentment because we are in the hands of a loving God who desires only what is ultimately good for us. This joy goes with gratitude." I thought about all the sheep I saw on the hillsides in Scotland and how contented they looked. And I remembered the deep contentment that filled me on December 15, 1952 when I made my vows and it has only deepened in the years since then so I feel blessed today to be in God's hands.
Sacred Space also says that "Our proverbial 'thanks be to God' is no idle phrase. It expresses a powerful faith and keeps is in touch with Christian joy."
I think the Gospel of today show us how fear takes away joy. The chief priests and the elders asked Jesus by what authority he was teaching. Jesus responds, as he so often does, with his own question and then says, "If you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven or was it of human origin?" They do not know what to say --they are afraid of the crowds. Do we let fear control us? Fear of what others may think or say? Jesus tells us over and over "Fear not!" Let us ask for the grace to trust Jesus and live in joy and gratitude.