Every year when it comes time to exchange gifts on Christmas, my parents like to tell the same story about how growing up, whenever I would get a present, I would get so excited after opening it that I would jump up and down screaming. It didn’t matter what it was – an American girl doll! A bike! Socks! Gas money! – I would become so excited that practically the entire neighborhood knew (and perhaps the next street over too).
Wouldn't it be wonderful if this was the same reaction we had to the gift of Jesus Christ in our lives? This Sunday marks the third week of Advent, or Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is Latin for “Rejoice,” a word we find sprinkled throughout the Scripture readings for Sunday’s Mass:
“I rejoice heartily in the LORD; in my God is
the joy of my soul” (Isaiah 61:10); “My soul rejoices in my God” (Luke 1:47);
“Brothers and Sisters rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16).
Maybe you have experienced this feeling of joy, delight, and happiness in your own life. Perhaps when you pass an exam you studied so much for or you get a promotion at work. Maybe you experience joy when you see a friend you haven’t seen in a long time or a family member comes home for Christmas. All of these moments bring us joy and happiness. This is what Advent is all about – the joy we feel at the arrival of the Lord Jesus (both a celebration of His first coming and a preparation for His second coming). It is during this weekend we realize that the Lord is near! And we rejoice!
I pray that as we draw closer to Christmas (and break!), we are able to continue to make room for Christ in our lives and allow Him to enter more fully into our hearts. Rejoice for the Lord is near!
Peace of Christ
Here are just some of the things that bring me immense joy!