Whoo hoo! It is the Third Sunday of Advent! I guess the more correct way to say it is Gaudete Sunday – Latin translation to English…..REJOICE! We light the rose-colored candle in the Advent wreath and rose-colored vestments are an option for the priest to wear. Last year a parishioner sent me a text with an amusing cartoon about the rose-colored vestments. The priest is at the altar celebrating Mass wearing rose-colored vestments. The girl altar server says to the boy altar server: “I like Father’s pink robe.” The boy altar server responds: “It’s not pink!” The girl altar server says: “How do you know?” The boy altar server says: “Because Jesus rose from the dead. He didn’t pink from it!”
As the Scripture readings for the Third Sunday of Advent moves us closer to the Christmas celebration of the First Coming of Jesus, we do have reason to REJOICE!! In our first reading, the prophet Isaiah announces that God is approaching to deliver the people and to advance the plan of salvation. The first half of the reading contrasts the lifeless conditions of a desert with a lush garden teeming with life. The latter half of the reading brings this lovely imagery to bear on the human condition. Sin and ignorance have rendered the people spiritually weak and feeble. Their eyes are unable to see by the light of heaven; their ears are deaf to God’s word; they are unable to make progress along the way of life. But now, they sing and dance as they return to God. That was then. We have reason to REJOICE NOW! For in the Gospel, when John the Baptist, in prison, asks whether Jesus is the one to come, Jesus tells John’s disciples to go back and tell John what they see and hear. The blind regain their sight! The lame walk! Lepers are cleansed! The deaf hear! The dead are raised! As Christians, we know and experience these very things in our life today because of the suffering, death, and Resurrection of Jesus. So indeed, we have two reasons to REJOICE today. First, Jesus came which we celebrate at Christmas, and second, Jesus will come again!!
Have a blessed Advent!