I love this quote by Saint Augustine because it always reminds me of the breadth of God’s plan for our salvation. He knows the big picture. He sees all the disobedience and ugliness and failure on the part of men, and He’s got it covered; completely, perfectly covered. What a comforting thought!
Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the life of John the Baptist. His voice crying out in the desert was foretold by the Prophet Isaiah hundreds of years before John was even conceived! John lived a life of radical obedience and holiness that made people of the day wonder if he wasn’t the promised Messiah.
It’s Gaudete Sunday and that is reason to be glad! Our four week celebration of Advent is a condensed commemoration of Israel’s centuries-long wait for the Messiah, and studying the Old Testament prophecies is a great reminder of that. Today we celebrate the imminent fulfillment of the plan. The light of Christ’s coming is growing stronger and our waiting for Christmas is almost over.
“Gaude” is Latin for rejoice, and the day’s name is taken from the first word of the introit of today’s Mass:”Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice; let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand; have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.”
In this week’s lesson, we not only have a chance to learn more about John the Baptist, but we’ll take a closer look at several Old Testament prophecies and their fulfillment as documented in the New Testament. In addition, your small (noisy) saints will be invited to echo John in his call to prepare the way of the Lord! (And if you’re feeling brave, you may want to save your Good News Megaphones to announce the birth of the Savior early on Christmas morning.)