measure exceedingly, an eternal weight of glory (II. Cor. iv. 17).
Third Sunday of Advent.
THE nearer the coming of the Lord the more earnestly the Church calls upon us to rejoice; and to-day, therefore, at the Introit of the Mass, she sings in the words of St. Paul: 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous, but in everything by prayer let your petitions be made known to God." (Phil. iv. 4-6.) " Lord, Thou hast blessed Thy land; Thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob." Glory be to the Father, etc.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, mercifully incline Thine ear unto our prayers, and enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of Thy heavenly visitation. Who livest and reignest, etc.
EPISTLE. Phil. iv. 4-7.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What does it mean to rejoice in the Lord?
It means to be glad in remembering the grace by which God called us to the true faith, and gave us the hope of eternal salvation, and to rejoice even in all our tribulations and adversities for the Lord's sake, as St. Paul did (II. Cor. vii. 4). It also admonishes us to give a good example by modesty and an edifying life, and to fix our desires on God, Who will never fail us if we make our wants known to Him by prayer and supplication, and give Him thanks for benefits received.
In what does the peace of God consist?
It consists in a good conscience, such as St. Paul enjoyed. It is this peace, this tranquillity of the soul, which sustained the holy martyrs in their agonies, and consoled others under persecution for Christ's sake (St. Matt. v. 11, 12).