Weekly Reflection From the Pastor

Third Sunday of Advent

Rejoice Always!

“Rejoice in the Lord always” Philippians 4:4

Today is rejoice “Gaudete” Sunday! The Church invites us to rejoice because the time for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Word made flesh is close at hand. John the Baptist, who prepared the way for the coming of the Lord, proclaimed, “…one mightier than I, is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of His sandals” (Lk 3:16). The birth of Jesus brought joy to the world, and we are invited as Christians to rejoice always. So, this Sunday we are invited to open our heart to the joy of the Lord in anticipation of the coming celebration of the birth of Jesus, our joy.

Could you imagine yourself rejoicing always? To rejoice always means to feel or show great happiness at all times, in good times and in bad times. Is that possible? It is humanly impossible to rejoice always, but it is possible to rejoice sometimes, especially when things are working out well for us.

This Sunday’s scripture readings clarify that it is feasible to rejoice always. Yes, we can rejoice always in Christ regardless of the situation of the world, regardless of whatever we might be experiencing in life individually or collectively. The word of God invites us today, to Shout for joy, to be glad and exalt with all our heart, because the Lord is our midst. The message of the coming Solemnity of Christmas emphasizes that with the birth of Jesus the Lord did come to dwell among His people and the salvation that was promised to all peoples was fulfilled in Him. So, we are invited to rejoice always and not to fear because the Lord through His birth came to us. He is in our midst. If God is with us and for us, who can be against us. 

The Word of God also tells us not to worry at all about anything, “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.” (Phil 4:6). Anxiety makes it difficult for us to rejoice always. When we take our eyes off of the one who is in our midst, the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, our Lord; we lose our joy. We fix our eyes on Him when we make our requests known to Him through prayer and petition. That’s how we receive the strength and peace to rejoice always. 

May the coming celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, deepen our belief in the fact the Lord is our midst through His birth, and so we are capable of rejoicing always – “Gaudete in Domino Semper!” – Rejoice in the Lord always!