Sunday, December 17, 2017

What really matters is our spiritual journey through Advent

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

Quote of the Week: “Jesus did not come to explain away suffering or remove it. He came to fill it with his presence.” — Paul Claudel.

“Gaudete” means “rejoice” in Latin.

Traditionally, the Third Sunday of Advent has been called “Gaudete Sunday” because our Advent journey has almost come to an end. There is always joy when one comes closer to reaching the goal or arriving at the destination.

But isn’t it much more than just “coming to the end”? What happened to us along the way? Was there any change? Is our goal or destination the point of this journey, or is the journey itself that is the important thing?

If we have been listening to God’s word these days, we have heard a lot about justice and peace; we have understood that something or someone has changed the universe forever. We have understood how deeply loved we are by God and that this divine visitation has forgiven and healed everyone and everything.

The journey of faith stands beside a bustling holiday season. One says: “Buy, buy, buy” and accumulate as much as you can — then get more, never enough!

The other says: “Let go, simplify, empty yourself, embrace silence and peace, open.”

One distracts and clutters; the other focuses and prepares us to receive love and meaning deep within the spirit.

It is a great time. It is a great season. Everyone enters in different ways and to different degrees. It’s all good. But undeniably there is something that is greatest here.

It has been the journey. It continues. It is near its end. There is more grace and love to go around.

Gaudete — rejoice!

As church, we say it together this Sunday. Together, may we discover what the journey has been about.

Together, may the journey helps us to discover who we have become.

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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