A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
July 11, 2020
Yes! It is the Third Sunday of Advent!
December 17, 2017
This is the Sunday we light the rose colored candle in the Advent wreath as today is Gaudete Sunday; a day to Rejoice!
“Gaudete” means rejoice and the Readings chosen for this day speak to us of rejoicing in our Lord. “The spirit of the Lord is upon me” according to Isaiah and the Reading is filled with great thanks and joy given to God for he has clothed us in a "robe of salvation."
This is all in anticipation of our receiving our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
St. Paul also speaks to us about rejoicing always and never ceasing to pray, for when we pray we are nurturing and giving life to our relationship with God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We will be saved by the birth of the Son of God. God has promised and God delivers our salvation!
In today’s world we do not often use the word “rejoice or rejoicing” in describing our life experiences. It seems rejoice is a word reserved for and used most often in church. We might say we had fund, or we had an enjoyable time, or even that we were pleasantly surprised by something in our lives, but would we say we rejoiced? The word rejoice is defined as to: celebrate, cheer, delight in, to express joy, be pleased about or be glad. Might it also mean to be happy?
We might do well to take some time to reflect on just what it is that brings us happiness. When do you or have you experienced real happiness? It could well be when you are with family and friends celebrating an event; a wedding, the birth of child, an anniversary, etc. Or it may be when you are simply spending time with family; mealtime, sledding, taking a walk, or binge-watching old movies. All of these can provide a time of happiness, a time to rejoice. And then it may be that we rejoice when we can sit quietly in our homes, in the dimmed light of a Christmas tree while enjoying pure silence. Silence holds the capacity to provide for a time of rejoicing. Rejoicing in the blessings received and revealed to us by a loving, compassionate, forgiving God. It is in silence that we can enter into that sacred space where we can be alone with God. It is there that we truly find the gifts we can rejoice in. It is there that we realize how we are indeed loved by God. It is there that we contemplate the gifts we have been given which allow us to grow in our relationship with God and his people.
Let us take time this week to find time to be alone with God in silence. And in our stillness, in our listening, and in the opening of our heart to receive Christ, we are sure to experience a time of rejoicing. God bless us in our waiting. Fill us with joy in the anticipation of the birth of our Savior when all the world will again rejoice!