Gaudete Sunday Year B
Blessed Gaudete (rejoice) Sunday to one and all! We are rejoicing with extra joy this year as we anticipate the clothing ceremony of our Postulant Kimberly who will be transformed into a Poor Clare novice tomorrow, the beautiful feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was wonderful to hear in our first reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah of the Church’s joy in being “clothed in the robe of salvation and wrapped in a mantle of justice”. We also listened to these words at the liturgy of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, where they were attributed to Our Lady. Mary was prepared for her unique mission in salvation history by being “pre-redeemed”, sinless from the first moment of her conception. Sin is what limits love, for it is directly opposed to all love. But Mary, being without the least stain of sin, was able to receive the fullness of God incarnated in her own body and to respond to Him with the complete fullness of love. We, on the other hand, daily experience our inability to love as we would. For us who were not immaculately conceived, the only way we can become able to give ourselves fully to the love of God is by way of repentance. When a young woman takes on our Holy Habit, it signifies that she is “putting on Christ”, taking up her Cross and following in His footsteps in a life of joyful penance. Yes, joyful penance! We deny ourselves, not out of hatred for our selves, but so that we can give our entire selves in love to the Divine Bridegroom who beckons us. Sin and selfishness are in the way of our union with Him, so they must go. It is that devastatingly simple.
Along with her new habit our new novice will also receive a new name. We believe that God reveals this new name to Mother Abbess who does not divulge this divine secret until the very end of the ceremony of investiture. Be sure that we will let you know by what name Kimberly will henceforth be called. Share the joyful suspense with us!