Today is the 3rd Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday or “Rejoice” as proclaimed in the entrance antiphon at Mass. On Advent wreaths around the world the rose-colored candle will be lit reminding us of this day of joy within the mostly violet and penitential setting of Advent. The Lord is not only “coming” but is close at hand. Vestments can take on this color at Mass today as well. In the Gospel of John, John the Baptist will arrive on the scene testifying “I am the voice of the one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord.” At my home this morning, we lit our Advent wreath’s Gaudete candle as we shared breakfast and talked about the plans for day which will include Mass, putting up the tree and making homemade ornaments and spending time with friends. Hopefully I can find enough Advent music to play instead of Christmas tunes. What Advent traditions fill your home this season?
At Benet Hill Monastery and around the world those praying the Divine Office this evening will hear Phillippians 4:4-5, “Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again. Rejoice! Everyone should see how unselfish you are. The Lord is near.” Tonight at dinner we’ll pray the beautiful concluding prayer of the Divine Office. I invite you to do the same:
“O God, who see how your people
faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity,
enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvation,
and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. – Amen.”