Brothers and sisters:
We are reminded in a special way on this “Gaudete Sunday” that it is a season of joy. St. Paul beautifully illustrates the spirit of this time of anticipation: “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances, give thanks for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18). “How?” we may ask at times. Mary tells us: “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked upon His lowly servant.” God is gazing upon each one of us at all times and with a compassion beyond measure. He is with us and He is our Savior.
Our Lady, St. Paul, and Pope Francis continue to encourage us to find joy in the Lord. It is clearly possible for a human being who has been given the wonder of life and a Christian receiving the grace of new life to lose their joy. It is a difficult world and we face many challenges. Like Peter on the troubled waters, the Lord is inviting us to gaze on His face and find peace and joy in Him. St. John the Baptist, by his life as well as with his voice, sought the face of God. He knew well that he was a lowly servant. He knew that he would not find happiness simply of himself in this passing world. He was not like the rich young man who went away sad. He had the joy and freedom of seeking God alone. This must be our joy.
In Christ, son of Mary,