Purple (officially “violet”) is all ‘round us in Church these Lenten days.  But we had a brief break on Laetare Sunday, March 31, when the priest wore pink (officially “rose”) to remind us that REJOICING is coming.  The first words in the changeable part of the Mass that day are from the prophet Isaiah:  Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her, all you who love her; Rejoice with her in her joy.  (Isaiah 66:10)

Most of us would say we don’t have to get ready for that; we’re always ready to be happy.

Except that REJOICING demands more than “Be happy.”  Rejoicing takes JOY and that kind of takes your whole soul.

I don’t know what brings you to rejoice, but here are some lines from our Bible that use the word and have given me some hints of how to get ready for the “joyous” feast of Easter.

Sing praise to Him, play music; proclaim all his wondrous deeds.

Glory in his holy name; let hearts that seek the LORD rejoice! (Psalm 105:2-3)

The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice; let the many islands be glad. (Psalm 97:1)

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.  By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.  This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad. (Psalm 118:22-24)

Mary said:  “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. (Luke 1:46-47)

Jesus said, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ You do not know him, but I know him. And if I should say that I do not know him, I would be like you a liar. But I do know him and I keep his word.

Abraham, your father, rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.  (John 8:54-56)

St Paul said:  Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be    patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good [both] for each other and for all. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. (First Thessalonians 5:14-17)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me.  Then the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

The God of peace . . . .  The Greek word for rejoice comes from the same root as the Greek word for grace.  Remember our short definition of GRACE: “God’s loving presence”–our God, here with us, giving us both the reason and the power to REJOICE!

HAPPY EASTER   He  has  risen  as  He  said