Old Calendar: Third Sunday of Advent; Gaudete Sunday
"Rejoice: the Lord is nigh." As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Savior means for us. The great joy of Christians is to see the day drawing nigh when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead them into His kingdom. The oft-repeated Veni ("Come") of Advent is an echo not only of the prophets but also of the conclusion of the Apocalypse of St. John: "Come, Lord Jesus," the last words of the New Testament.Today is known as Gaudete Sunday. The term Gaudete refers to the first word of the Entrance Antiphon, "Rejoice". Rose vestments are worn to emphasize our joy that Christmas is near, and we also light the rose candle on our Advent wreath. Jesse Tree ~ Jonah
The Third Sunday of Advent
Once again the central figure of the Advent Liturgy is St John the Baptist. After he had preached the Baptism of conversion and penance, he was arrested due to his public denunciation against the immorality of the time. He invites everyone to be patient and await the arrival of the Messiah who will come to establish a new kingdom. In fact, whilst he was in prison, he sent someone to ask Jesus if it is He ‘who is the one to come or shall we look for another?’(Mt 11: 3) Jesus responds by emphasizing the fruits of His mission which were manifested in His preaching and in the signs of healing and recovery: ‘the blind see again, and the lame walk, those suffering from virulent skin-diseases are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.’ (Mt 11: 5) He knew that John, knowing the scriptures, would recognize through these signs that the ‘One who will come’ is already here. The prophets had foretold that these signs would accompany Him: ‘Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed, then the lame will leap like a deer’ (Is 35: 6) all ‘will [then] see the glory of Yahweh, the splendour of our God.’(Is 35: 2) Everyone is invited to journey, to found our lives on the ‘Holy Road’. It is exactly on this ‘Road’ that we encounter the Lord Jesus, who is ‘the way’ and there, where we will find our ‘joy and happiness’. We must therefore be confident because God’s salvation manifests itself in fullness: ‘Here is your God; He is coming to save you’ (Is 35: 4) and also to be patient and uncomplaining, or better yet to revitalize our hearts ‘because the Lord's coming will be soon’ (James 5: 8).