Today is Gaudete Sunday which comes from the Latin word meaning to rejoice. The color of today’s celebration, which is pink or rose, shows a lightening in the mood of the season. Gaudete Sunday is a counterpart to Laetare Sunday, and provides a similar break about midway through a season which is otherwise of a penitential character, and signifies the nearness of the Lord’s coming. In the first part of the first reading, Isaiah speaks of his mission to announce good news to the poor, healing to the brokenhearted, liberty to captives and freedom to the oppressed. In the second part he speaks of the reason for rejoicing. His message was intended for the people of God who, after a time of great suffering are about to experience God’s un-surpassing graciousness. Isaiah prophesied that God was about to remember his people and to wipe their tears. He would clothe them in a garment of salvation, wrap them in a mantle of justice and, like a bridegroom, adorn then with a royal diadem. Such a glorious prefiguring was a vision of God’s plan to replace long years of adversity with a one of unparalleled prosperity. We are that people of God and this message is for us as well. It is a message whose timing could not have been better. As we live in these dark and gloomy times, Isaiah’s words bring us such comfort, such joy and such hope. Saint Paul reechoes same sentiments in his famous passage to the Thessalonians as he invites them, in all things, to rejoice. In the Magnificent, Mary gives us those beautiful words in recognition of the power of the Almighty who Has done and continues to do great things. That God is described by John the Baptist as the light which transforms all things. Aware of the immensity of His greatness and power and regardless of the seemingly dire circumstances in which we live, may we like Mary magnify the Lord for His infinite goodness. May we trust, like her, that nothing is impossible with God. May His praises be sung on our lips from now and through all generations forever and ever, Amen.