Traditionally, today is called Gaudete Sunday, which means, “Rejoice.” Be joyful, be happy, be glad and to make our ways straight before the Lord in expectation of the newborn King. On this third Sunday of Advent we put on and light the pink or rose candle, which signifies the nearness of the Lord’s coming. We wait in joyful hope.
The prophecy of Isaiah in the first reading is a message of joyful hope, especially to those who go through life struggles. It says, “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; 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, to announce a year of favor from the Lord and a day of vindication by our God.” Jesus knows what each of us go through in life and he gave us his words of hope, trust and consolation. God sent his prophet to us to bring good news and message of glad tidings, to heal the brokenhearted, to help us to believe, and strengthened in our Faith.
The Gospel recalled how John was sent from God to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He says, “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord.” Hence, to make our ways straight is to live a holy life, a happy life, a hopeful life, and a good life pleasing to God.
Saint Paul encouraged us in the second reading, “to rejoice always, to pray without ceasing, to give thanks in all circumstances and not to quench the Spirit. Retain what is good and to refrain from every kind of evil.” God does not run out of his blessings and favors. He says, “I will supply all your needs”. When we make our way straight, honor God, and walk in his light; God will open doors no one can shut. If somebody got what you wanted, that simply means it wasn’t meant for you. God has something better for you. Be joyful, be happy, and put your trust in God. Your blessing is on the way. Don’t give up on God. He never and will not give up on us. God is always faithful to his word.
I heard people said, they don’t deserve to be blessed because of their past mistakes. But just you know, none of us deserved it. This is what his mercy and kindness is all about. That’s why it’s called good news, joyful news. Your past is gone; it is a new beginning, a new chapter in your life. It’s a joyful moment filled with great hope. You don’t have to pay God back for past mistakes. The price has already been paid for by Jesus and God will always help you to make your wrongs right. Just you know, out of your pain can come your purpose, your joy, your peace and restoration. Be joyful and know that our God never fails. God is always up to something in our lives each time we are down.
Saint Paul gave us a beautiful prayer today, he says; “May the God of peace make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will also accomplish it.” May this prayer be for us in Jesus Name. Amen.
God is good…all the time. God bless you.
Fr. Daniel E. Ogbeifun