Third Sunday of Advent or “Gaudete Sunday
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice” (Phil 4:4-5)
Do you agree that we seem to be all very busy as Christmas is drawing near? We are running in many directions to get things done and prepare our various trips and family gatherings.
Yet, the main person who is responsible for this so wonderful Christmas mystery and celebrations, may be the most forgotten one! Indeed, in the midst of all the commercial fuss and end of the year events, do we still hear the little voice of Jesus in our heart: “Do you have time for me? Am I not the one who should be the true cause of your joy?”.
Daily family prayer is always very important. But during Advent and Lent, parents are particularly responsible to invite their children to a special time of prayer, for instance, before dinner or before bed time.
For some people, Christmas means family gathering and exchange of presents. For some others, it is only a holiday, relaxing time and fun with no other spiritual meaning… For some others, it may be a very difficult time because of personal trials like recent tragic deaths in our family or among friends, painful conflicts at work or/and in our own family. It greatly pleases our Lord when we are mindful of those who suffer and make some concrete gestures of compassion toward them, like a simple visit with food or other presents.
Whatever the life situation we are in, we are all invited to rejoice on this “Gaudete Sunday”. Indeed, if we wisely set our priorities correctly with morning and evening prayer to give to God the respect and adoration He deserves, if we take a few minutes to listen to Him through the Advent daily readings for instance, then we make ourselves able to rejoice and to receive the presence of Jesus and his peace in our heart. Then, we will hear Saint John the Baptist two Sundays in a row, preaching conversion to a holy life.
Practically, don’t you think that it implies preparing a good confession in order to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation for all the sins we have committed against God and neighbour? We usually experience so much relief and joy after receiving the forgiveness of our Heavenly Father!
Am I really longing to see Jesus appearing in His Glory on His final coming?