December 16, 2012 – Third Sunday of Advent
Zep 3:14-18; Is 12:2-6; Phil 4:4-7; Lk 3:10-18
Today — Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday in Advent — is a time to rejoice! Everything, from the lighting of the rose-colored candle, to the consistent use of the words JOY and REJOICE in the readings, points to being called to joyfully proclaim the imminent coming of Jesus.
Often people who practice stewardship as a way of life are called a “joyous people.” That is a natural reflection and a natural phrase to use with people of stewardship because, based upon living their lives as grateful people, they focus on their blessings, not their Crosses and burdens. When one sees the good sides of life and living, it is difficult not to be happy.
Our task as Catholics is to focus much of the energy and excitement which seems to come with this season into what we are really celebrating — the arrival of Christ. Advent is about hope. It is not just hope that things will get better or hope that our burdens will disappear. It is hope that there is meaning to our lives. It is the hope and understanding that there is an incredible existence beyond our human state. It is the hope that our lives are not as limited as they may seem to be. We must never forget what we heard in a Gospel passage of a few weeks ago: “All things are possible with God.” After all, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.”