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3rd Sunday of Advent – 12 December 2021

Gaudete Sunday – A ray of light – rejoice!

In the picture of the first Christmas a ray of star light is often seen shining in the darkness and surrounding the child Jesus.  The third Sunday of Advent tells us ‘Gaudéte, rejoice!’ because the Lord is near.  He is our light and our salvation.  He is our peace and our joy!

Today we are called to rejoice in the Lord.

Our readings today say ‘Lætáre, Ierúsalem, be joyful, Jerusalem, and all who love her!’ because she herself is loved by the Lord.  We are the new Jerusalem.

Shout for joy, daughter of Zion,

Israel, shout aloud!

Rejoice, exult with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem!

The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst, 

you have no more evil to fear…have no fear, 

do not let your hands fall limp.

The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior.

As Christian’s we have optimism, positive thinking, happiness, gratitude, and the ability to look on the bright side of life.  This is truly an extra-ordinary gift from the Lord.  But we need to pray for it.  “Lord, be the light of my heart and mind, today!”

When the Wise Men saw the star the Bible tells us that “they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.”  

And again, the angel said to the Shepherds, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

It is part of human nature to sink into gloom especially in these rather dark Covid times but if we pray and trust in our Lord He will give us the gift of peace and joy, the gift of Christian optimism.

The third candle of Advent is pink and it symbolises joy.  It is called the “Shepard’s Candle,” and is pink because rose is the liturgical colour of joy. … the joy we share with the humble shepherds.

The white candle is placed in the middle of the wreath and lit on Christmas Eve. 

This candle is called the “Christ Candle” and reminds us Christ is our light and is near to us this Christmas. 

If we truly follow Jesus we are assured of true peace and joy while here on earth, and most importantly, in the life to come!  Peace and joy are the two great gifts of the Incarnation, because God Himself now dwells among us.

God bless, Fr Andrew

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