HOMILY FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR B.
HOMILY THEME: REJOICE AS YOU AWAIT THE MESSIAH
BY: Fr. Cosmas Ukadike CM
This day, the Church celebrates the Gaudete Sunday or the Sunday of Joy.
One of the candles surrounding the Christ Candle in the Advent wreath is rose coloured, for Gaudete, the beginning of the third week in Advent.
The day takes its common name from the Latin word Gaudete (“Rejoice”), the first word of the introit of this day’s Mass:
Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione et obsecratione cum gratiarum actione petitiones vestræ innotescant apud Deum. Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.
This may be translated as: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand; have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Lord, you have blessed your land; you have turned away the captivity of Jacob.” Philippians 4:4–6;Psalm 85 (84):1
The readings of today are all filled with Joy and Hope in the coming Lord.
The prophet Isaiah declared that he will greatly rejoice in the Lord and his whole being shall exult in His God (61,10).
And this is because the Holy one of Israel, the Lord who comes has been anointed with the holy spirit to bring good news to all those who are oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour… and comfort to all who mourn (Isaiah 61, 1-2).
To further emphasize this fact, St Paul urges us to:<br>
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, giving thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us (2Thess 5, 16-17). Today’s message which ushers us into the second part of Advent and calls us to prepare for Christmas, casts our minds back to the first Christmas when Christ’s coming was greeted with high expectations of a new horizon-shift in favour of the children of God.
This was achieved as we now live in the Christian era (Christ era). The era of the favour of God, as Jesus declared the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 61 as been fulfilled in his person (Lk 4, 17-18).
In this era of Christ, every 25th of December draws our attention to Christ’s timely intervention to our world, Christ is once again born into us.
He comes to reassure us of his constant presence even till the end of time (Matt 28, 20). This is why the Gaudete Sunday comes to lift up our Hopes even as we await the Lord in this year’s Advent.
For they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength ( Isaiah 40, 31).
Our hope will not fail us. Let us keep up our trust in him.
Have a blessed week.
Fr. Cosmas Ukadike, CM.