Third Sunday of Advent
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks.
In the midst of the problems of our own times, we hold onto the promise of Advent. At this midpoint we pause to rejoice. We read the words of Isaiah and believe that God can work in our times bringing unity and peace to us. Jesus courageously preached this vision in his world and we hold fast to the remarkable promise of his words. Those words resonate in us with the possibility of new life. Yet, we know that if it is to happen we must do our part too. We hold on to the hope that we will experience the grace of joy breaking through the darkness and into our world.
Let us rejoice in the hope of what is possible.
Reflect on the Biblical reasons for rejoicing: bringing glad tiding to the poor, healing the broken hearted, proclaiming liberty to captives, releasing prisoners. How do you apply it to our time?
I rejoice heartily in the Lord,
in my God is the joy of my soul.
Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.
In all circumstances give thanks,
for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor,
to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and release to the prisoners.
Into our beautiful yet wounded world comes Emmanuel, God-with-us, carrying the promise of fresh hope to enliven our hearts. No matter how broken or seemingly hopeless our world may sometimes seem, the Advent messages are rich with joyous expectation and longing, insisting that God can and does bring forth life where none seems possible.
We consider Christmas as the encounter, the great encounter, the historical encounter, the decisive encounter, between God and mankind. They who have faith know this truly; let them rejoice.
Pope Paul VI
The more in harmony with yourself you are, the more joyful you are and the more faithful you are. Faith is not to disconnect you from reality – it connects you to reality.
The joyful heart sees and reads the world with a sense of freedom and graciousness.
God is a God of the present. God is always in the moment, be that moment hard or easy, joyful and painful.
Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God.
True joy results when we become aware of our connectedness to everything.
We need Joy as we need air.
We need Love as we need water.
We need each other as we need the earth we share.
Always remember, Joy is not incidental to spiritual quest.
It is vital.
Joy is the highest expression of Love. In it is found the principle connection to Life and to the divine essence that is the creator.