Gaudete Sunday

Today, the church celebrates the Third Sunday of Advent also called Gaudete Sunday.   Taken from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians in today’s introit “Gaudete in Domino simper” in Latin is an imperative it means act, do something, “rejoice!” “Rejoice in the Lord always”.  
 
Our readings today give us a hint into why should we be joyful, why should we rejoice.   You know this time of year brings such joy to children.   Probably the “joy” of Christmas makes their eyes light up and their hearts warm with love.   Even parents find great joy in seeing their children with glow in such excitement.   But this time of the year also is a time of great depression and anxiety.   Many people find this time of the year to be the most depressing, the most difficult time.   Probably, because of the dreary weather, maybe because of bad experiences at Christmas, or even perhaps because there are family disputes and conflicts that makes the Christmas joy, not very joyful.  
 
So, on this Gaudete Sunday, the Church invites us to REJOICE.   Why?  
 
Listen to the prophet Isaiah from the first reading today
 
Those whom the Lord has ransomed will enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; they will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.  WHY? Here is your God he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you.  The prophet Zepheniah says: You have no further misfortune to fear, do not be discouraged, YOUR GOD IS IN YOUR MIDST therefore – REJOICE, SING JOYFULLY.
 
The Trinity is all about joy.   God the Father pours out his love to the Son and the Son pours out his love to the Father and the Holy Spirit is that great love that is pure joy.   The joy of children at Christmas, isn’t by accident.  Although, it may seem that way because they receive all kinds of gifts, but the joy of Christmas, although they don’t know it is because of the great and wonderful gift of the Father sending us the Son at his birth in Bethlehem.    Their young souls because of their innocence reach to heaven in the great act of uniting themselves in joy to God.   They are just a hint at the great joy found in God perpetually, always.  
 
And so to share intimately in His joy, God sent to us the Son.   In a world filled with anxiety, with fear, with depression, with hate, with everything but joy, God sends us The Divine Joy Incarnate, Jesus Christ.   He couldn’t have been clearer I came that you might have life and have it to the full, so that my joy in you would be complete. He continues in the Gospel of John that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full and later that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.  
 
When we realize that the greatness of the gift that God has given us the Incarnation of His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ and how our Lord so should be the center and focus of our lives then our fear disappears, then our anxiety is gone, then our depressed self finds the true source of happiness and joy.  
 
When we attempt to discover happiness and fulfillment through paths that lead away from God all we find is in fact sorrow, misery & fear.   Wordly happiness leads inevitably to great loss because we are seeking happiness outside – elsewhere.   We seek it in riches, we seek in good things happening for us, we seek it in others to make us happy, to bring us joy.   The problem with that is if we loose riches, and the ones we love (all of which are imperfect), if things go wrong (we must face trials and distress) then we loose happiness.   No, true joy is found interiorly, it is the soul so intimately united to God.
 
When we are in harmony with God, we then are in harmony with one another.   Joy is the interior disposition toward God that brings about the only true happiness and fulfillment one can seek and desire.   Why should we find this joy – because the Lord is near – our Savior is upon us and this is the reason we celebrate.
 
When we realize that only when we embrace God in our life, when we totally and without conditions give to God our whole being and intimately united ourselves to him, then we  understand fully the joy of God shared with us in Jesus our Lord, then we find the “joy of Christmas” always, we see the profound depth of God’s love.
 
So on this 3rd Sunday of Advent.   Gaudete!  Rejoice in the Lord always!  For he is near.
 

 

 
Online Giving

Online Giving

Secure and Convenient Donate now!