Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
We have already arrived at the Third Sunday of Advent. You may see rose colored vestments this Sunday because the Third Sunday of Advent is also called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is the first Latin word of the entrance antiphon (taken from Philippians 4:4,5) for this Sunday. Gaudete is translated as ‘rejoice’ as in ‘rejoice in the Lord always from Philipians 4. Let us rejoice this Gaudete Sunday, for our Lord is near!
Christmas is only a week away! Please see the Confession schedule and the Holy Mass schedule in the bulletin this week.
This week I include a reflection from St. Irenaeus that describes Jesus as the New Adam and Mary as the New Eve. It sheds light especially on the obedience of Mary in contrast to the disobedience of the first Eve.
Eve and Mary
“The Lord, coming into his own creation in visible form, was sustained by his own creation which he himself sustains in being. His obedience on the tree of the cross reversed the disobedience at the tree in Eden; the good news of the truth announced by an angel to Mary, a virgin subject to a husband, undid the evil lie that seduced Eve, a virgin espoused to a husband.
As Eve was seduced by the word of an angel and so fled from God after disobeying his word, Mary in her turn was given the good news by the word of an angel, and bore God in obedience to his word. As Eve was seduced into disobedience to God, so Mary was persuaded into obedience to God; thus the Virgin Mary became the advocate of the virgin Eve.
Christ gathered all things into one, by gathering them into himself. He declared war against our enemy, crushed him who at the beginning had taken us captive in Adam, and trampled on his head, in accordance with God's words to the serpent in Genesis: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall lie in wait for your head, and you shall lie in wait for his heel.
The one lying in wait for the serpent's head is the one who was born in the likeness of Adam from the woman, the Virgin. This is the seed spoken of by Paul in the letter to the Galatians: The law of works was in force until the seed should come to whom the- promise was made. He shows this even more clearly in the same letter when he says: When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman.
The enemy would not have been defeated fairly if his vanquisher had not been born of a woman, because it was through a woman that he had gained mastery over man in the beginning, and set himself up as man's adversary.
That is why the Lord proclaims himself the Son of Man, the one who renews in himself that first man from whom the race born of woman was formed; as by a man's defeat our race fell into the bondage of death, so by a man's victory we were to rise again to life.” (St. Ireneaus in his treatise entitled: ‘Against Heresies’, Book III, Chapter 22)
Through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, St. Joseph, and St. Columbkill, may we be open to encountering Jesus every day, especially in the Sacraments, and be courageous in sharing Jesus with all others!
In Christ through Mary,