3rd Sunday of Advent
Third Sunday of Advent, Lighting of the Advent Wreath
This week we celebrate “Gaudete Sunday,” the Third Sunday of Advent. We have been hoping and preparing during these first two weeks of Advent. Now is our chance to rejoice! Today we light the pink candle, symbolizing “joy” – the joy that we have reached the halfway point of Advent. It is called the “Shepard’s Candle,” appropriately helping us to usher in Christmas. This year in particular, let us not let the turmoil and struggles we have experienced diminish the great joy we have because of Jesus. Now is the time to prepare in our hearts a sense of holy anticipation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus.
In today’s second reading, we are called to “rejoice always.” The joy in our hearts for Christ will help us heal all wounds and to meet the challenges we currently face. We know this because God is in control of our circumstances. He is “faithful,” as Paul says, and therefore we can “rejoice always” and “in all circumstances give thanks” because we have hope in God.
In the Gospel, we see John fully committed in his role. He has acknowledged the greatness of Jesus and announced his coming, calling people to open their hearts to the Lord made flesh. In this way, we are called during Advent to open our hearts in preparation for the birth of Christ.
May God transform your hearts and homes as we joyfully await Christmas.
As a family: On this Gaudete (“Rejoice”) Sunday, reflect on everything for which you are thankful and that bring you joy. Write down things in your life that cause you to rejoice. Then share with each other and give thanks to God for those blessings.
Let us Pray:
I lift my heart up to you,
to thank you for the blessings
you shower on me each day.
You are the ‘joy of my soul.’
I know that in your great love,
I am held and protected by you.
I pray and listen to the good news you send.
I ask and feel the healing.
I am freed by you
from the things in this world
that let me hide from you.
I rejoice, I rejoice, down to my soul.
Help me to prepare my heart
to be open and able to receive your immense love.