Let us rejoice in the Lord always.
Today we celebrate the 3rd Sunday of Advent also known as Gaudete
Sunday, which is marked by lighting the third candle, a Rose candle which
symbolizes joy. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord, we are called to
reflect on the enduring nature of Christian joy and the profound significance of
this season. The opening prayer at today’s Mass beseeches God to help us
attain the joys of this gift of salvation and to celebrate them always. This prayer
underscores the unique and enduring joy that is offered to us through our faith – a
joy that transcends temporal circumstances and can be celebrated at all times.
The second reading further reinforces this message, urging us to “rejoice
always” or be happy at all times. While it is easy to rejoice in times of abundance
and ease, maintaining a spirit of joy in the face of adversity, suffering, and the
trials of life can be extremely challenging. How can we rejoice and experience
true happiness when faced with unfriendliness, misunderstanding, and betrayal?
The answer is found in the timeless truths expressed in the first reading from the
Prophet Isaiah and in the Responsorial Psalm: “I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in
my God is the joy of my soul.” Our capacity for enduring joy depends on our
unshakeable relationship with the Lord. In Christ Jesus, we find a source of joy
that remains constant and unchanging, irrespective of our challenges.
In his message to the Thessalonians, St. Paul encourages us to be happy at
all times, not as a response to life’s changing fortunes but as a reflection of our
union with Christ. The enduring and merciful love of the Lord enables us to
rejoice both in times of abundance and in times of scarcity. This everlasting love,
is the foundation of our abiding joy.
Fr. Dominic Toan Tran, Pastor.
As we continue our journey through Advent, let us hold fast to the truth that
our joy is anchored in the unshakable foundation of our faith. May we find
comfort and strength in the knowledge that through Christ Jesus, we are
empowered to rejoice at all times and in all things. May the joy of the Lord infuse
our hearts and lives, inspiring us to live lives marked by gratitude, hope, and
unwavering joy. Let us carry this message of enduring joy with us, not only
during this Advent Season but throughout our lives, as a testament to the
transformative power of our faith. In these comings days and always, let us
embrace the call to rejoice in the Lord and be prepared to celebrate the birth of
our Savior, Jesus Christ, in our hearts and within our families.