Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday), December 15
May the Light of God’s Truth Guide Each of Us in Our Journey to Know and Love Jesus Christ More Intimately During this Christmas Season, for God is Truly Near!
“Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; they will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.”
These words from our First Reading today, which God spoke to His Prophet Isaiah, call to mind our Lord’s self-sacrificing Love which ransomed us from our slavery to sin, a Love which reconciled each of us with His Father, so that we may be crowned with an everlasting joy as co-heirs with Jesus Christ in His Heavenly Kingdom, where there shall be no more sadness, and every tear of sorrow shall be wiped away!
And it is this joy we share together as children of our Eternal Father, a faith which unites us as brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ – which fills us with an enduring and a lasting hope in the sure and certain knowledge that we have a God who loves each and every one of us beyond all human understanding, a God who sent us His Only Son to teach us of His Love and to die on a Cross so that we may be saved!
For He is a God who gives us the gift of His Spirit, the Spirit of Divine Truth and Infinite Love, who dwells within us – guiding and enlightening us on each step we take in this life of faith which we have freely chosen to embrace.
And it is on this Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday, that we take the time to acknowledge these wonderful gifts which God has freely given to us. Our Church, as Mother and Teacher, calls out to each of us on this Sunday, as we continue in our Advent preparation to remember that our Eternal Father’s promises to His children are fulfilled in the Divine Person of Jesus Christ.
God tells us through His Prophet Isaiah that “…the eyes of the blind [will] be opened, the ears of the deaf [will] be cleared…the lame [will] leap like a stag [and] the tongue of the mute will sing.” Even our psalmist in today’s Responsorial Psalm echoes the words of Isaiah in the promises God gives to you and me.
And in today’s Gospel, how does our Lord respond to the question posed to Him by John’s disciples? “Jesus said to them in reply, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.’”
And whether we are preparing our hearts for Christmas in celebration of the Holy Birth of the promised Messiah when God took flesh upon Himself to become one with us in all things but sin, or whether our hearts are awaiting our Lord’s Glorious Second Coming on a day known only to the Eternal Father, we hear today in the Letter of James, “You too must be patient. Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand.”
The very life which you and I live, the very fact that our hearts beat and our lungs breathe, the very fact that you and I are practicing our faith, hearing His Word spoken in Scripture, giving glory to God in praise and song and receiving our Lord in Sacrament – all give witness to the fact that God’s Love for us is without measure, and He is the only One who has given us these gifts which you and I have freely embraced and continue to make a part of our daily lives!
Advent is that special season when we are given that opportunity to reflect upon what we have received – and Gaudete Sunday allows us to pause for a moment and to contemplate what it is we are working toward.
And what is it that you and I seek in this life? Many would answer peace or happiness or love. And each of these answers would be correct, for they each speak about the very Nature of God Himself.
In each of these instances, they are what we long for in this life, and we rejoice in the knowledge that God wants to fill us with His Love; He desires to fill us with the peace and the joy and happiness which only He can give.
But we also seek a deeper understanding and a greater appreciation of the faith with which we have been blessed. We seek to find comfort and consolation in the very depth of our Savior’s Most Sacred and Merciful Heart.
And in the process of our growing in our faith, we seek God’s grace to help us grow in holiness, to help us grow in a more intimate and a more loving relationship with Himself. And for each of these most wondrous gifts, we are truly thankful.
On this Sunday of rejoicing, as we open our hearts to His Truth and His Love, we ask God to feed us with His Word and nourish us with His Body, enabling and strengthening us to change and transform our lives.
So that, like John the Baptist who heralded our Lord’s First Coming, or all the Apostles and disciples who went before us giving testimony to the Eternal Light of God’s Truth through their words and actions, we, too, may become beacons of light guiding others on their journey to know and love the Son of God, who took flesh upon Himself from the Blessed Virgin Mary, and was born on a cold winter’s night in a manger, so that He may teach us the Mind of God and give us life to the fullest!
For through His Birth, the world was forever changed! And through His Life, Death and Resurrection, our life’s journey is forever filled with an enduring and a joyful hope!
During this season of joy, may the Light of our Lord and Savior burn brightly in our hearts, so that we may come to know the love, peace and joy of God’s Kingdom here on Earth, and may the Holy Spirit empower each of us to give witness to His Truth, and to point others to the Eternal Light, so that all of God’s children may be able to truly rejoice!
For just as Heaven’s star guided the Magi to find and give homage to the newborn King, may the Light of God’s Truth guide each of us in our journey to know and love Jesus Christ more intimately, not only during this Christmas season but for the rest of our lives – for God is truly near!
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; they will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.” (Isaiah 35:10)
- “Jesus said to them in reply, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.’” (Matthew 11:4-6)
- “You too must be patient. Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James 5:8)
- “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.” (Proverbs 4:18)
- “While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light.” (John 12:36a)
- “In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all (the) flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:16-17)
- “…hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
- “May the God of peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
- “And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)
Prayer for the Day
“Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
ever faithful to Your promises
and ever close to Your Church:
the Earth rejoices in hope of the Savior’s coming
and looks forward with longing
to His return at the end of time.
“Prepare our hearts and remove the sadness
that hinders us from feeling the joy
which His Presence will bestow,
for He is Lord for ever and ever. Amen.”Alt. Prayer, Third Sunday of Advent (Roman Breviary)