The third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete, is always special for me as I realize that the Lord is coming. I see the pink candle lighted on the Advent wreath and the rose of the priest’s vestment for this Sunday.
I especially like the first reading from the prophet Isaiah (35:1-6, 10) who announces that all creation will rejoice as it sees the glory of the Lord. We are challenged to be the Christian Community of care by strengthening the hands and knees of those who are weak or frightened by life’s hardships and burdens. We indeed are commissioned to be the keepers of our brothers and sisters by our outreach and prayer.As I reflect on joy, I’m aware that this is a fruit of the Holy Spirit which all Christians should be producing in their transformed life in Christ. This grace is not necessarily based on positive circumstances or having life go smoothly. This gift is present in all of life, good times and bad. However, that does not imply that we should be naïve and not grieve our losses or feel the sadness and injustice of those who are in oppressive circumstances. This Sunday is a good reminder to me of being more joy-filled through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Joy, with hope, is capable of transforming situations. Through joy our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual life is positively impacted. Thus we are energizedto help bring about that kingdom of joy and gladness, where sorrow and mourning will flee. (Isaiah 35)I’m very grateful for the people who witness joy to me, living near and far…past or present.Let us proclaim with Mary in her Magnificat: “My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior.” (Luke 1:46).