Taste and See: Be happy

Immaculate Conception

The second reading at Sunday’s Mass, the third Sunday of Advent came from St Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians.

Why re-visit the reading again today? Well perhaps because we mat not have really believed it at the time. Perhaps  we need to hear the urging of Paul one more time to take the message to our hearts and learn to live it in our daily life.

Returning several times to the same text helps us deepen our personal response to it, even to have a personal response to it – rather than a merely intellectual response. The latter may merely be a recognition of what the reading says. The former, the personal response, is hearing what the reading says to me, and beginning to enter into dialogue with the text, perhaps with its author, but especially with the Lord, its divine inspirer.

Take the time to today to hear again the encouragement Paul offers you. Take time to consider what helps you to believe and trust in what he asks. Take time to consider what it may be that holds you back from believing and trusting.

Be happy at all times; pray constantly; and for all things give thanks to God, because this is what God expects you to do in Christ Jesus.

Never try to suppress the Spirit or treat the gift of prophecy with contempt; think before you do anything – hold on to what is good and avoid every form of evil.

May the God of peace make you perfect and holy; and may you all be kept safe and blameless, spirit, soul and body, for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. God has called you and he will not fail you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

Mary is a sure guide to the spirituality of Advent, a joyful waiting for God’s promises to be fulfilled. Present the fruits of your prayer to her, and ask her to intercede for you with our loving Father in heaven.

Photograph is of image used by Diocese of Madrid for celebration of the Immaculate Conception, 2003. (c) 2003, Allen Morris.

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