3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT GAUDETE SUNDAY
This weekend we celebrate the 3rd Sunday of advent also known as Gaudete Sunday or Rejoicing Sunday. The term Gaudete refers to the first word of the Entrance Antiphon, “Rejoice”. Rose vestments are worn in many churches to emphasize our joy that Christmas the birthday of Christ is near, and we also light the rose candle on the Advent wreath. Again we hear John the Baptist in the Gospel Reading for this Sunday where he calls us to renewal and repentance in our lives and the lives of others when he calls all of us to make way for the lord
The question for us this “Gaudete” Sunday is how do we measure our lives and how do we make straight the ways of the Lord? By what standard do we live, work, and relate to the world and with those around us ? How do we encounter and relate to God? Advent the same as Lent has at its heart the message and the call to repentance, to what the Greeks called “metanoia ”which means to come back. In Advent we look towards a different measure for life and this is hard as we continue our preparations for the razzmatazz of Christmas
The secular world’s way to peace and happiness is always a focus on individual achievement to the exclusion of others. The way of God does not focus on the achievements of the individual at the exclusion of the other. We as people of god should realize that The Messiah’s message, revealed in his words and his deeds, provide us with a different standard to live by a standard where all are valued and none are left out. A standard where all people are valued Sons or daughters of God and known as such .
I stated at the beginning that we are celebrating the joy of Gaudete Sunday which is about the happiness and rejoicing of Jesus the son of god being near. As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Savior means for us or all that it should mean for us especially in our world where so many have little or nothing at all. The joy of Christmas will come to us if we set about actively trying to create it for others. If I go about my life demanding that others carry me rather than seeking to carry them; feeding off others rather than feeding them; demanding that others meet my needs rather than trying to meet theirs, joy will never find me no matter how hard I party or try to crank up the Razzmatazz and the good cheer.
The Joy we have at Christmas is not really about Partying or the Secular Razzmatazz of the ongoing parties etc instead it is really about Jesus Christ the Son of God who is for us the light in the darkness. It is about really reaching out to others family members, friends and relations those who we might not value as much as we should. Indeed those who the secular world really count for nothing.
We joyfully praise God on this Gaudete Sunday. We thank him for all he has done for us in our own lives and in the lives of all those who are dear to us, families and friends whoever. We rejoice that through the coming of his Son Jesus we have come to know the Father. We do what we can to imitate Jesus life, to follow his Gospel of love in a spirit of joy. As we continue our Advent journeys along the roads that lead to salvation let us prepare the way for the Lord in our own lives remembering that in the words of the Antiphon we should rejoice, that is Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. the Lord is near.