Gaudete Indeed

I'm no Scripture scholar. But I do know that the Words of God in public revelation are not just a matter of personal edification. They are that, of course. But way more than that they are meant to be a message to ALL His people, and first interpreted corporally. So while I picked out this verse to meditate and pray with over the week and it was necessary and hope-filling in my own personal circumstances, how much more so when I read this in light of Him speaking to His Body, the Church?

"The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love."

He is here, friends. He has been here. He never left.

He is working in those unfathomable and secret ways that He does to renew us in Him. Renew - to make new. He makes ALL THINGS NEW. Whether it's a heart exhausted and trampled by the weight of a personal cross or His entire Body yet again bleeding and raw, He is in the process of renewal. And He is not shocked by the depth to which we need it. We can't scandalize Him by our sins, personal or ecclesial. We have every reason to hope because we have HIM and if we trust that He is not a liar, then we know He, mightier than John, mightiest of all, is with us always to the end of the age.

There is no hand-wringing needed in the authentic Christian life. He won, He is winning, He will win. And we - all - can be made new. Gaudete indeed.

This does not mean that there is no grief, no emotion, no sadness, no need for knees-to-the-floor, heart wrenching prayer. Of course not. The sober reality, the one great tragedy - the only one really - is that while He longs to make us new, souls can be lost. We can choose to reject His offer of redemption. We can watch as people we love do the same. We can allow the evil one to drag down even more souls than he already has. So we pray, we fast, we exhort, we prepare. And we still rejoice. For our God is with us, moving, working, redeeming, making new. 

Okay, but what can we DO? We ask the same question that was asked of the Baptist. And his answer: be holy right where you are, right in the vocation He has put you. That is how we prepare for the Kingdom. That is how we are ready for His work in us. That is how we are in a place to be made new. That is how the Body will be renewed yet again - radical holiness cell by cell. We need have no anxiety at all but simply make our request known to God. Make us new, Lord. 

Emmanuel. He is here. He is in our midst. He is renewing. Gaudete indeed. 

(Yes, I've posted three times this week, the baby has started sleeping longer stretches at night and for the first time last night slept through the night! Gaudete indeed.)

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