December 13, 2015
Third Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 9 (NAB Translation)
The Third Sunday of Advent is unique among the four and marked with the rose colored candle and vestments. We know it as Gaudete Sunday, meaning rejoice.
This week’s first reading from the Prophet Zephaniah is balanced combination of the two spirits of Advent – warning of judgement of the Lord and consolation of His love. This reading expresses several phrases of rejoicing and singing joyfully, most of which is coming from the Lord Himself.
He hear reference to pasts struggles and misfortunes that the people of God have endured, but we also hear of a promise of relief from the suffering. That is truly worthy of rejoicing – the Lord is coming.
Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
- (6) Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
The second reading for Gaudete Sunday embodies the same spirit. We hear St Paul command the Church to rejoice in the Lord always. It is good news that the Lord is near, and that He has not abandoned His people. He instructs us to pray with faith and notably with thanksgiving. In this busy time of preparation for Christmas, we have to keep focus on the King and never forget to be grateful for the ways we have been blessed. Whenever we lose sight of that, we have forget to head these commands by losing ourselves in the world.
Isaiah 61:1 (CITED IN LK 4:18)
- Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.
This Sunday’s Gospel we hear from St Luke calling for repentance. We see John the Baptist preaching the message of preparation for the coming Lord, and he is directly answering questions of people that are seeking Him. The biggest concern for them is how they can be ready for His arrival, and it should be ours as well. His answer referring to an unquenchable fire is also a harsh reminder of the consequences of our readiness.
Be ready, for the Lord is near, and rejoice for His goodness.
Gospel meditation from Bishop Vásquez
What should we do? In our busy lives we often want to know the immediate answer. No wasted time. Just tell me what to do! On this Gaudete Sunday we are invited to Sing joyfully! Rejoice! Serve. Do what is right. If we have two, give one away. When you light a candle, the light of the first is not diminished. Christ is our joy! When we share that joy we share Christ. Is Christ the top priority of my life or do other things cloud my vision? What should I do?