This is the prayer that opens our Masses this weekend, for we have reached the third Sunday of Advent; Gaudate Sunday. We light the rose colored candle for the Third Sunday of Advent and we rejoice because we are nearing the coming of our Savior. We, as members of the Church, today rejoice as we anticipate the Second Coming of Jesus as he promised.
So where is joy to be found in a world that seems dark with corruption, war, famine, homelessness, racism, inequality? How do we find joy when we are struggling to balance work and family, when we are overwhelmed by responsibilities or when confronting uncertain health issues, addiction or disease? How can one find joy if they are depressed or experiencing deep grief over the loss of job, or their home, a relationship or the death of a loved one?
There is only one answer; we anticipate and we find our joy only through our faith in Jesus Christ.
It is in knowing Jesus that we find the strength we need to face adversities, the patience to endure pain and difficulty and the assurance that we are not alone – ever. God is always with us and that promise came directly from Jesus Christ.
Joy can be found in quiet moments alone with God when we can give all our worries and cares to him knowing that God waits patiently to assist us when we call upon his name. Joy can be found in shared memories of loved ones we have lost and in contemplation of the promise that God will see us through all things. We experience real joy at the birth of a new baby, the celebration of the love of a newly married couple and when we open our eyes to see and our hearts to receive all that is good in the world.
As we prepare to welcome the Christ Child, let us examine with eyes of faith the opportunity to find joy in the world around us. Then let us celebrate with great joy the gift of the one who will save us all and fill our lives with joy for all eternity. Let us find joy in Jesus!
In joyful hope,
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC