14 Dec Guadete Sunday
This Sunday used to be called Gaudete Sunday and refers to the message of joy that carries through all
of our readings. John pointed to the sort of behavior that prepares the way for God’s coming. Zephaniah
proclaims that God is overjoyed to be in our midst. Paul picks up on the theme by telling the Philippians that their life should
be one of constant rejoicing. We proclaim a joyful message because the Lord is near. We rejoice because God loves us and saves
God is near, and that is a wonderful thing for those who want what God offers. It will be as costly as the cross. But the
results will bring joy and peace for the converted as well as for all who benefit from the changes they bring about.
We are told to “Shout for joy!” “Sing joyfully!” “Rejoice!” Some of us may have an easier
time with this list of imperatives than others. We may be celebrating the birth of a child, have
found fulfilling work, feel God’s love and care, be surrounded by friends and family or simply be
in a good mood. The readings might simply confirm how we already feel.
Others might feel just the opposite. Separation from friends or family through death, absence
or conflict; anxiety about health, finances or current events; a difficult prayer life; or mental
health challenges such as anxiety or depression could make it seem nearly impossible to express or
even feel any measure of joy or gladness. No matter our mood or challenges, we are a people of
hope because Jesus is near. We are a people of joy because in faith we know that God wants only
the best for us.
Advent calls us to ask ourselves where we are in our Christian life. Where does God want
us to be? Then we simply take the next step in the direction that God wants us to be. Advent is not
a call to do something impossible or unreasonable. It’s doing something very possible and very
reasonable. It’s simply taking the next step on the journey that leads to our Father’s home in heaven.
It’s taking the next step and doing it.
May God bless, preserve and keep you! MARANATHA! COME LORD JESUS!