Sunday, December 13, 2015

365 Project - Day 347 - "Gaudete Sunday"

December 13, 2015 - "Gaudete Sunday"

Today is Gaudete Sunday. The word "Gaudete" is Latin for "Rejoice". This, the Third Sunday of Advent, is the start of the week of Joy.

Today is also Bambinelli Day at our church... the day when parishioners bring the baby Jesus figurines from their home Nativities to be blessed in a special ceremony held after Mass. We brought ours... which is the subject of today's photo.

My mind is taken back to another day upon which I stood before the very same altar I stood before today. It was the Easter Vigil Mass and my brother Peter stood behind me with his hands on my shoulders and presented me to be Confirmed... and spoke the name that I had chosen for myself: "Joseph". As he spoke my new name I was anointed with oil and the blessings of the Holy Spirit were bestowed upon me.


Why had I chosen this name?

It was an agonizing decision to make... as the names of many Saints raced through my mind in the days leading up to that moment... yet "Joseph" was the name that kept returning.


Why had I chosen this name?

The reason was actually a simple one. I chose St. Joseph - the Patron Saint of Fathers - in hopes that he would bestow upon me the blessing of being a better father. I chose St. Joseph in hopes that his guidance and intercession would lead me to being the best father I could possibly be... the father my children deserved.

I - the newly anointed Joseph - turned to face the parishioners... filled with confidence...

... and then there was today.

Today I sat amongst the same parishioners... utterly defeated.

For today - the day of Joy - was not a day of Joy for me at all.

For today I was given one of the greatest tests I've ever been given... and I allowed myself to fail.

And so tonight, as I stand before the Advent Wreath to light the Rose Candle - the Candle of Joy - I will do so with my eyes fixed on the little figurine of St. Joseph in our Creche - kneeling humbly beside his son... and I will pray for his guidance and intercession in hopes that I will not fail again.

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