Rejoice; the Lord is near! As we continue to prepare for the coming of the Lord, we have now come to the third Sunday of Advent, traditionally called “Gaudete.” On this Sunday, our readings invite us to rejoice. We may want to ask ourselves, what is the true meaning of joy? We rejoice because Christ is already with us, even in our life crises. We also rejoice because we can barely wait to celebrate the wonder and joy of Christmas, the coming of Christ Jesus into our world.
Further, on this ‘Gaudete’ Sunday, the liturgy continues the invitation to ‘rejoice!’ because all around us are prophetic signs of God’s love at work, bringing us hope and reminding us of the joyful life we are called to live. Today the Scriptures encourage us to listen and to see the prophetic voices and signs of our times.
Isaiah acclaims a joyful vision of Christ’s coming in the first reading. The Lord will open the dimmed eyes; the lame will leap for joy, and we can have courage because the Lord is near.
The Psalmist shares a vision of the Lord overcoming our human hardship, bringing justice and healing to the world. The second reading is a letter of encouragement, counseling us to be watchful and patient. The Lord is close at hand.
The Gospel describes a meeting between Jesus and the followers of the imprisoned John. Jesus answers their questions by referencing the prophecies of Isaiah and today’s Psalm. John is a prophet of their time, and Jesus encourages John’s disciples not to lose faith. Jesus himself is the one of whom the ancient prophets spoke.
This week let us all recognize that even amid challenging times, Christ is our cause of joy.
Joy and Peace.