|Real men wear pink (er, rose, as my wife corrects me) |
... and red shoes!
For any whose Latin is rusty, gaudete means "Rejoice you (pl.) in the Lord always..." For my readers in Pittsburgh, gaudete, "Rejoice, y'ins!" My people in Virginia, "Rejoice, y'all!" "Rejoice, youse guys" in New York. (NB: unofficial translations of Sacred Scripture.)
The original language of Philippians was Greek, and in the Greek the word is χαίρετε, which reminds us of the angelic greeting to Our Lady, in which Gabriel addressed the Virgin saying χαῖρε Rejoice (sing.)! This brings to our mind the verse that we read in Zephaniah (which we will hear at Mass tomorrow), "Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! ... The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst" (Gk: Χαῖρε σφόδρα, θύγατερ Σιων ... βασιλεὺς Ισραηλ κύριος ἐν μέσῳ σου). Pope Benedict points out in his new book that the Hebrew (בְּקִרְבֵּךְ) here says that the Lord is in the womb of Israel. See the wholeness of Sacred Scripture? We await the coming of the Christ child, but we also are filled with joy that he has already come and will come again.
We are a religion of joy, not a fleeting emotion that lifts us up to let us sink back down, but a permanent and enduring happiness that is from the Lord and delights in his majesty and his love. Are we eager for the Lord to return? Do politics and current events cause us to lose sight of the fact that this world is passing away? If we are not winning souls, it is because we are not full of joy. Do we hang our heads and sulk over personal misfortune? Snap at loved ones over stress? Become grumpy when our sports teams lose? Nothing should deprive us of our joy, for the Lord is in our midst!
|St. Philip Neri, |
saint of joy,
Lord, grant us all a share of Philip Neri's joy, that we may be ever caught up in your divine happiness and the assurance of your great love for us.