We have now arrived at the third stage of our preparation for the coming of the Lord. With this entrance antiphon: “Gaudete in Domino Semper”, Rejoice in the Lord always… (Phil 4:4), the liturgy on this third Sunday of Advent invites us to the joy of the spirit. The reason for rejoicing is because the Lord who is coming, is now very close.
Do you really know why the chicken and the eagle never get along well with each other?
Once upon a time, the chicken had eight children and the eagle had three eaglets. They both lived in perennial tension and denied each other joy and peace until today. Every time the chicken wanted to take her children outside the cage and train them how to earn food for themselves, the eagle waited and from high above the skies would quickly descend and snatch one of the chicken’s children and it became the food for the eagle’s family. While this continued for years, the chicken got so angry after losing all her children and complained to the king of the animal kingdom and said: “This is so unbearable and intolerable! And I can longer keep up with it. That my children will everyday become food for the eagle and her eaglets. It must stop and there must be respect between me and the eagle for our joyful and peaceful co-existence.” When the complains reached to the eagle she said, “I spend most of my life in the skies and I can only descend down when I see food. My children also live in the skies and every time I come down and go up, they rejoice knowing there is something for their meal.”
While this story is used to explain why the chicken and the eagle can never be friends and relate with one another, it can also help us to answer the question some people ask: “Is joy still possible today in a world where relationships with one another are difficult? Well, “Gaudete in Domino semper”.
The Christian joy can only be found in the Lord and not in the possessions. It can also be found in the faith community because God is present. The first reading also shows us that in the wilderness; the place of loneliness, desolation and all our human needs, joy can be found. An example is that of Mother Teresa of Calcutta who found joy in serving the poor and the destitute and brought joy in their loneliness and human need. Yes, joy enters into the hearts of those who put themselves at the service of others especially those in their blindness, the lame, and the lepers. St. James invites us to “establish our hearts” and Jesus calls us to look around us and see who needs joy. We could be orphans of joy while we are rich of everything else. “Gaudete In Domino” rejoice in the Lord.