Sunday, December 13, 2020

For Gaudete Sunday

     Gaudete, gaudete!
     Christus est natus
     Ex Maria virgine,

Tempus adest gratiæ
Hoc quod optabamus,
Carmina lætitiæ
Devote reddamus.


Deus homo factus est
Natura mirante,
Mundus renovatus est
A Christo regnante.


Ezechielis porta
Clausa pertransitur,
Unde lux est orta
Salus invenitur.


Ergo nostra contio
Psallat iam in lustro;
Benedicat Domino:
Salus Regi nostro.


     It might strike non-Christians a bit oddly that Gaudete Sunday precedes the feast of the Nativity, but...well, we’re used to it. In classical Rome virtually the whole of the month preceding Saturnalia – the original December 25th celebration – was considered an occasion for great merrymaking. As the Church wished to preserve as much as possible of Roman custom, it put various Christian holy days at or near the dates on which Roman polytheists were accustomed to celebrate. It seems to have eased the transition from Rome’s pagan faith to ascendant Christianty.

     At any rate, we’re here. The day is a statement that there is rejoicing to come, but it’s also a reminder that there is already much about which to rejoice. The Way, the Truth, and the Light made flesh entered the world two thousand years ago; what comes on December 25th is a commemoration. The promise He made to the Hebrews of Galilee, He also made to us, if we will only follow His commandments:

     And behold one came and said to him: Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting?
     Who said to him: Why asketh thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
     He said to him: Which? And Jesus said: Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. [Matthew 19:16-19]

     But the Pharisees hearing that he had silenced the Sadducees, came together: And one of them, a doctor of the law, asking him, tempting him: Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?
     Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
     On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets. [Matthew 22:34-40]

     This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do the things that I command you. [John 15:12-14]

     Therefore rejoice, for He is forever with us.


Linda Fox said...

I celebrated Gaudette Sunday at Saturday mass, which was offered for a dear friend who died years ago. As a side benefit, we ran into his widow, too.
Sunday never seems like Sunday unless we go to church that day.

Bigus Macus said...

One of my favorite groups and songs