“HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME”
--T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
This Sunday of Advent is called “Gaudete Sunday”: “Gaudete!” means “Rejoice!” The traditional introit in the Latin Rite for today's Mass begins with a quotation from St. Paul's letter to the Philippians: “Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete . . . .” (“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say to you, rejoice!”)
During Advent, we try to imagine what it must have been like for the Jewish people, waiting for the Redeemer that had been promised ever since the Fall. Imagine being one of the shepherds in the field on the night of the Nativity, or someone standing by the River Jordan, watching John baptize Jesus: The Messiah everyone has been longing for, for untold millennia, is finally here! Now!
In Advent we are also reminded that Christ will come again in glory at the end of the world. And all will be well: the world will be healed, and those who sorrow will be comforted. Just as the Jews awaited the birth of the Messiah, we Christians are called to long for, to pray for, His Second Coming, when all will be well. When the last shall be first, and the first shall be last. Every Christian is meant to cry out, "Come, Lord Jesus!"
Rejoice! There is a God. He is here now--and He is on His way.