December 13, 2015 — Third Sunday of Advent
Today, the Third Sunday in Advent, is also called Gaudete Sunday. That name is taken from the Latin word Gaudete which is the first word of the introit of today’s Mass. Gaudete means “Rejoice.” The first line of the introit in its entirety is Gaudete in Domino semper, meaning “Rejoice in the Lord always.”
Joy and rejoicing are part of all of our readings on this day. As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of Jesus Christ means for us. Like Lent, Advent is a penitential season for us as Catholics. However, having passed the midpoint of Advent, we see some changes to encourage us in our spiritual preparation.
Yes, this should have been a time when we have been spiritually preparing for the coming of Christ. It is not too late; it is never too late in the eyes of the Lord for us to make a determined effort to change, to repent, and to find ways to properly serve the Lord as disciples. On this day of Joy let us renew our efforts to be good stewards of all of our gifts. Stewardship, of course, is founded in trust. On Gaudete Sunday in 2013 Pope Francis said, “Those who trust in God experience the peacefulness in their hearts and nothing and no one can take that away. Our joy is Christ.”