Lord, enable us to attain the joys of your salvation
And to celebrate them always with gladness,
Rejoice in the Lord always (Phil 4:4). These are the words of Saint Paul on this third Sunday of Advent. With these words the third Sunday is called “gaudete” Sunday; the Sunday of joy. Saint Paul urges us to rejoice because the Lord is coming. The Lord’s glorious return is certain and therefore as the church we make it our own invitation as we prepare to celebrate Christmas. Let us intently focus on Bethlehem where the mystery of God with us is revealed. Let’s wait his second coming with hope.
Bethlehem reveals our embraced humanity; the Lord has taken our condition upon himself, choosing to be like us in all things but sin. Christian joy thus springs from this certainty: God is close, he is with me, he is with us and he is faithful to us.
We can ask ourselves: But is joy still possible today?
Yes, if we put ourselves at the service of others. God loves and abides in those who serve others than waiting to be served. An example of a religious brother Argese who loved and served, and gave joy to the people of Igembe in Meru Diocese by providing water can inspire us into serving others to offer joy to them. There are many other silent Christian servants who are transforming the lives of others and giving joy to the orphans, the marginalized and the lowly. All these people found joy in God. They have rejected anything that can replace God in their lives with individual happiness.
The joy that the liturgy of this gaudete Sunday reawakens in our hearts is not reserved for us alone; but it is for all and especially the poorest in joy. Let us think of the sick and the lonely people. How can we share joy with them but respecting their sufferings? Let us think about the young people who are seeking joy in vain that they may know God as their true source of joy.
Look around your neighbourhood. Ask! Who is an orphan of joy? Who is wounded? Take an action of sharing joy with them.
Joy and Peace.