3rd Sunday of Advent
“GAUDETE” OR REJOICE! SUNDAY.
This coming Sunday marks the 3rd Sunday of Advent, also known as “Gaudete” (Latin for “Rejoice!” or “Be glad/happy!”) Sunday. This is the reason why in some ADVENT WREATHS, there is a PINK CANDLE which differentiates it from the rest. In some Churches as well, instead of using the purple vestments, PINK priestly vestments will be utilized (if the church has them).
The Church encourages us to be glad and happy and for what reason? The answer can be found in the Entrance Antiphon of the Holy Mass: REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS; AGAIN I SAY, REJOICE. INDEED, THE LORD IS NEAR! (Phil, 4:4-5)
THE NEARNESS OF OUR LORD IS THE REASON OF OUR JOY. At the same time, Scriptures also reminds us that THE TRUE and LASTING OBJECT OF OUR HAPPINESS IS NOTHING ELSE BUT GOD. REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS!
Pope Benedict XVI commenting on these words of St. Paul said: “If the loved one, love, the greatest gift of my life, is close to me, if I can be convinced that the one who loves me is close to me, even in situations of suffering, JOY THAT REMAINS IN THE DEPTH OF MY HEART IS EVER GREATER THAN ALL SUFFERINGS (Benedict XVI, FIRST GENERAL CONGREGATION OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS, Oct. 3, 2005).”
With the words of St. Paul, OUR MOTHER CHURCH TELLS US TO REJOICE BECAUSE BECAUSE THE LORD IS CLOSE TO EACH ONE OF US; much better, He is IN US, in our SOUL IN GRACE or when we receive Him in HOLY COMMUNION; He is WITH US in the TABERNACLE and if we are keen enough to seek Him, He is with us IN ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND EVENTS OF OUR LIFE. We need to be aware of the -hidden but real- presence of Christ in us, in our daily affairs and in the Eucharist which is a fountain of real and profound joy.
However, this interior joy disappears when we separate ourselves from Our Lord and start living only for our self. “For a Christian, joy is a treasure. ONLY BY OFFENDING GOD DO WE LOSE IT, BECAUSE SIN IS THE FRUIT OF SELFISHNESS, AND SELFISHNESS IS THE ROOT OF SADNESS. (St. Josemaria, “Christ is Passing By”, n. 178).” “You are unhappy? Think: there must be an obstacle between God and me. You will seldom be wrong. (St. Josemaria, “The Way”, n. 662).” “You are not happy because you make everything revolve around yourself as if you were always the centre: you have a stomach-ache, or you are tired, or they have said this or that …HAVE YOU EVER TRIED THINKING ABOUT HIM, AND THROUGH HIM, ABOUT OTHERS? (St. Josemaria, Furrow, n. 74).”
Selfishness, egotism, living for one’s self, ultimately result to sadness, in spite of all the worldly pleasures which a materialistic, individualistic and hedonistic lifestyle could provide. The reason is simple: THE MATERIAL CAN NEVER BE ABLE TO SATISFY THE SPIRITUAL LONGINGS OUR HEART WAS MADE FOR. IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE HAPPINESS, WHAT WE NEED IS NOT AN EASY, COMFORTABLE LIFE, BUT RATHER, A HEART WHICH IS IN LOVE (cf. St. Josemaría, Furrow, n.795).
Moreover, SADNESS HAS NEFARIOUS CONSEQUENCES: it leads one to seek worldy compensations to fill in the void he has in his soul; his dealings with others are characterized by anger and pessimism; it gives way to impurity, envy, egotism, indifference, division and so on…Hence, WE HAVE TO FIGHT AGAINST SADNESS as well. How? Let us seek God’s Mercy in the Sacrament of Joy, the Sacrament of Confession so as to be able to receive the fountain of Joy in the Sacrament of the Holy
DON’T FORGET THAT AUTHENTIC HAPPINESS HERE ON EARTH IS THE RESULT OF THREE INSEPARABLE ELEMENTS:
- UNION WITH GOD;
- INTERIOR STRUGGLE TO OVERCOME ONE’S SELF FOR LOVE OF GOD AND OTHERS;
- AND, LIVING A LIFE OF SERVICE FOR OTHERS.
Behold, “I knock at your door, listen to me, open up to me (Rev 3:20).” Let us not be deaf to Our Lord who invites us to attain real happiness. Only can we hear his invitation if we silence the mundane noise in brought about by our worldly lifestyle. Only when we clean our heart inside out, purifying it from sin and removing what is not essential, can the Lord have a place in our heart.
Dear friends: Let us end with a prayer making use of the words of Benedict XVI: “LORD MAKE US BE SENSITIVE TO YOUR PRESENCE, HELP US TO FEEL NOT TO BE DEAF TO YOU, HELP US TO HAVE A FREE HEART AND BE OPEN TO YOU (Benedict XVI, First General Congregation of the Synod Of Bishops, Oct. 3, 2005).” “O GOD, WHO SEE HOW YOUR PEOPLE FAITHFULLY AWAIT THE FEAST OF THE LORD’S NATIVITY, ENABLE US, WE PRAY, TO ATTAIN THE JOYS OF SO GREAT A SALVATION, AND TO CELEBRATE THEM ALWAYS WITH SOLEMN WORSHIP AND GLAD REJOICING
(Opening Prayer, Mass of 3rd Sunday of Advent).”
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei, CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS. We are also in Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness. Hope you like our page and invite your friends as well to do so in order to help more people.
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