3rd Sunday of Advent – 2009
Gaudete Sunday or Rejoice Sunday.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Phil 4: 4
As the Christmas season draws nearer, many people wait in sadness, in darkness or in pain. We are afraid of sickness and the effects of old age, being left alone, and not having enough money. We worry about the future and our past, H1N1, unemployment, and war in Afghanistan. We fret and worry, lose our inner and outer calm and are unable to let go and relax. Many of us try so hard, trying to take care of everyone and solve everything. We fear so much and so frequently that psychologists from Augustine to Freud see fear or basic anxiety as a universal life experience. We long for a sense of safety when it is difficult to trust that all shall be well.
In the journey from Advent to Christmas joy exists at its core. We remember with joy the fidelity of what God has done through the years. We realize with joy that God is able and does change things for the better. No matter what our current situation is, we can be assured that God can come into our lives. Paul invites us to a life of rejoicing and gentleness and encourages us to let go of worry in the confidence that Jesus is near. He calls us to lift our requests in prayer with thanksgiving and to trust that the Peace of God will guard our minds and our hearts. Advent is the season in which we can clean out the inner stables of our lives so that new life can be born, our souls may be recharged and our lives may be renewed in the joy of salvation. This season of Advent holds promises of hope and joy for us who long for a new age of peace.
- How do I let the worries of my life get larger than my confidence that God is near?
- How can I change the busy-ness of my life so that it does not interfere in my prayer life?
- How can I lessen the anxiety over the big things of the world that would ruin the small joys in my life?
— Helen Martinez, PBVM