Today we celebrate Gaudete Sunday. We are all invited to rejoice in the Lord for our salvation is nearer than ever. Every week we have been reflecting on the meaning of the Advent candle we light. After lighting the “Love Candle” last week, today we are lighting the third candle, the “Joy Candle.”
In the sight of today’s uncertainties, we may wonder whether there is place for joy. The answer to our concerns is found first in our previous reflections upon the “Hope Candle” and the “Love Candle.” Hope reminds us that God is the one in charge and that the message of the prophets awakens us to God’s faithfulness. Hope is the awareness that tomorrow will be better because it belongs to God. And more than an eye on tomorrow’s outcome, hope nurtures within us the consolation that our Lord and Savior is coming to save us and to free us from every bondage of sin and fear. Love on the other hand reveals to us how precious we are in the eyes of the Lord. While we were still sinners, God has sent His Son to ransom us from death. The Love Candle shows us how much we matter to God that it took His only Son to come and take our humanity, to be like us to bring us back to our original identity. God’s endless love is shown us to invite us to be in return expressions of love.
Why then should we rejoice on this Gaudete Sunday? Because through His love God nurtures our hope for the salvation He sends to us. The Church rejoices because our hope is being fulfilled by the coming of the Son of God. Our salvation is at hands. No matter how hard can be; no matter how deep is the darkness of despair in our every day’s life, the reason for our joy is that God is showing us his mercy and is clothing us with His mantle of salvation; not because we deserve it but because of His unfathomable love for us: you and me.
As we continue to journey in search for the meaning of life during this Advent, this third Sunday brings us closer to the answer. The light is coming that will unveil the presence of the One who gives full meaning to life and out of whom there is no life: Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Let us now continue to pray for one another and for our parish family.