Third Sunday of Advent, December 13
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!
“I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul…” – These words, which we read today from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, call to mind the new life which has been given to each of us, a hope which has been manifested in our hearts through the birth of the Word Incarnate.
And in His birth and the life which He lived amongst us, a life fulfilled through His teachings, His Death and Resurrection, we, in turn, heartily rejoice in the immeasurable Love which God has shown us through His Son! And, in this Love, God truly “is the joy of my soul”!
On this Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday, we take the time to acknowledge the 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 the Father’s promises to His children are fulfilled in the Divine Person of Jesus Christ.
We hear in our First Reading today, “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God.”
Those “glad tidings”, that “day of vindication” which occurred more than two thousand years ago, is still a day which touches the depths of our souls even now, for it is a day in which our hopes are reawakened within us, a day in which God reaches out and touches the hearts of even the most distant of His children. It is day in which the Spirit of Christmas embraces and lifts us up to Himself, amongst all the glorious acclamations by the angelic hosts!
They say that Christmas is for children. But for those who hearts are opened to the Love of God, for those who truly feel the miraculous wonder of the Infant Birth and recognize and feel the true joy of what this season is all about – then Christmas is not just for children; it is for each one of us who rejoices in the true wonder of God’s Love manifested in the humble birth of the Royal Christ Child!
Advent is that special season when we are given that opportunity to reflect upon what we have received – and Gaudete Sunday, Rejoice Sunday, allows us to pause for a moment and to contemplate what it is we are working toward, and for all that we are truly thankful.
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 is 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 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 these most wondrous gifts, we are truly thankful!
And Saint Paul guides us in this understanding today in our Second Reading, “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” And then he goes on to say, “May the God of peace make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Whether we are awaiting His Second Coming, or preparing to celebrate the glorious wonders of the First Advent, may we always open our hearts to His Truth and His Love, asking 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, may we, too, become beacons of light guiding others on their journey to know and love the Son of God, who took our 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 most wondrous of all seasons, 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!
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
- “I will rejoice heartily in the LORD, my being exults in my God; For he has clothed me with garments of salvation, and wrapped me in a robe of justice…” (Isaiah 61:10ab)
- “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior…The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (Luke 1:46b-47, 49)
- “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; He has sent me to bring good news to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, release to the prisoners, To announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God.” (Isaiah 61:1-2a)
- “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
- “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)
- “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)
- “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)
- “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)
- “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:28)
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 sadnesscf. Alt. Prayer, Third Sunday of Advent (Roman Breviary)
that hinders us from feeling the joy
which His Presence will bestow,
for He is Lord for ever and ever. Amen.”