Third Sunday of Advent, December 11, 2011, Year B

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Dear Friends:

Today is Gaudete Sunday (from the latin for rejoice). Today’s readings overflow with joy. “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,” we read in Isaiah. “My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,” sings Mary. “Rejoice always“ urges Paul. Today’s gospel seems in some ways, not to fit. John the Baptist’s speech is full of negotiations: “I am not the Messiah…nor Elijah…nor the Prophet” – but rather, “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness.”

Yet in that solidarity, lowly task there is joy. There is the comfort and assurance of knowing who you are and what your calling is. There is the joy of anticipation, of preparing the way, of looking forward to the one who is to come.

John may seem like a negative figure, but in some ways he is like a child waiting for Christmas with a sense of anticipation – someone- wonderful is coming.

We are called to share in this anticipation and joy. It is not always clear what we are waiting for or should be happy about. But as Christians, we know that there is more than this life – there is something yet to come. With John the Baptist, we are waiting….we are looking forward with hope: we “await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.”

“My soul rejoices in God, my Saviour
My spirit finds its joy
In God the living God”.