3rd Sunday of Advent

by  David Szatkowski, scj

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Traditionally, this Sunday is called “Gaudate Sunday” (or in English, “Rejoicing Sunday”). The cause for our rejoicing is obvious, we are near to the celebration of the birth of Jesus. In fact, we are just over one week away. The readings echo the themes of rejoicing and preparation for the presence of the Christ.
The Gospel presents us with John’s account of the ministry of John the Baptist. The Gospel reminds us that John’s role was to “make straight the way of the Lord.” This is not only the mission of the Baptist, it is our work as Christians as well. Like John, we are called to make straight the way of the Lord, we are called to announce that the Kingdom of God is at hand. This nearness of the Kingdom of God is our cause of rejoicing. The Kingdom of God is also what we rejoice in announcing.
So how do we share our rejoicing with the world? What is the good news we are to announce? Isaiah answers these questions. We are to proclaim glad tidings to the poor, healing the broken-hearted, liberty to captives and prisoners, to announce favor and vindication. Salvation and justice are indeed at hand. The promises of Isaiah, brought to completion in Christ, are a promises to all humanity to be made new in Christ. We can truly call this Sunday one in which to rejoice because the presence of God has been brought near to us in the person of Jesus.
Questions for reflection:
To whom have I announced the good news of Jesus and the Kingdom of God?
How have I shared my joy with the poor, the marginalized, those who live in fear?

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