This third Sunday of Advent is traditionally called “Gaudete Sunday” – a rejoicing reflected in rose vestments and the choice of Scriptures. We are more than halfway through our season of vigilant preparation and persevering prayer, as we ready ourselves to both celebrate the coming of Christ in history and look forward to his return in glory. For Christians, this theme of rejoicing lies at the heart of our faith. Even if we are struggling with life’s great issues, we are still called to be people of joy and to be ready to share that joy with others. So what does this spiritual or holy joy look like? Clearly, it is not the same as pleasure or human satisfaction – these are emotions that are short-lived and derived from the external, they are what we perceive and experience. Spiritual joy arises from our interior life – our relationship with the divine. Like a well bubbling up from the depths of the earth, spiritual joy wells up even in the midst of life’s struggles and becomes the hallmark of the true Christian. Zephaniah is exultant in his description of God’s faithfulness and promise. Saint Paul, too, wants his community in Philippi to be joyful, not with a superficial rejoicing but with a joy that flows from the Lord as they await his imminent return in glory. To maintain this joy, Paul reminds them to stay prayerful at all times. And what must we do? How can we bring about change in our world? As spouses and family members, we can strive to love with a God-like love. As parents and guardians, we can teach our children that their true value lies not in material things or the latest gadget or brand, but in how they treat others and serve the less fortunate. As civic-minded people by using our freedom to serve our community. As employers and employees, by paying a just wage and working hard. And as Christians, by being faithful to the Gospel and rejoicing in God’s presence and promise! The list is endless – and it is only when we are faithful to Christ that we will know real joy and understand the challenging hope of Advent.
Let us take advantage of the grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) on Monday from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm.. We will offer the Sacrament again on Thursday, December 20th from 11:30 am to 12:00 noon and 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm and also on Saturday, December 22nd from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm..
A word of PRAISE and THANKS to Mrs. Colleen O’Neil her Staff and all the youngsters from the Faith Formation classes for an outstanding presentation of the Nativity Story. It was a marvelous afternoon last Sunday here at Church as they shared their musical and speaking talents.
God bless you all! Peace & Joy!