Third Sunday of Advent

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Third Sunday of Advent ⎪ December 15, 2013 en Français ⎪ PDF

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Be patient, brothers and sisters,
until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient with it
until it receives the early and the late rains.
You too must be patient.
Make your hearts firm,
because the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

James 5:7-10

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Today we celebrate the Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday. Simply translated, Gaudete means “rejoice” in Latin and it comes from the entrance antiphon for this Sunday.  We truly can rejoice in the knowledge that our Savior is coming soon and that we are being called to prepare for him once again with a hope-filled longing.  How are we getting prepared?  Are we looking within our hearts to see where Christ fills us with his love and compassion?  Have we had the opportunity to reach out to those in need and bring joy to those in despair?  The living tradition of the Xaverian Brothers calls us to seek ways in which we take the love that God has for us and spread that Good News to all those we encounter. Like Saint Francis Xavier, whose missionary spirit we embody through the life and ministry of Theodore James Ryken and the Xaverian Brothers community, we are invited to be missionaries to those in our own communities as we reach out to the poor and marginalized.

In today’s Gospel (Matthew 11:2-11), John the Baptist sends his disciples to Jesus to ask him if he is the one to come. So often, we look for signs and wonders to answer our deepest questions and seek ways to deal with our concerns. Our joys turn into sorrows and our patience is tested. In the letter of Saint James, he implores us to be patient, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Our lives can be filled with joy when we look at things in a positive way – with simplicity, with ordinariness, with humility. “Patience is a virtue,” I was always told. Today, we are being asked to be patient and to look to those who are less fortunate than we are and find ways to bring Christ’s unconditional love to them, to count our blessings, and to open our eyes to those we encounter so that we may see Christ in them and they may truly see Christ in us.

Catherine Reynolds, Director of Campus Ministry & Psychology Teacher at St. X High School in Louisville

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1. Prepare your heart this week by reflecting on your own experience of joy. What makes you joyful? What brings you joy? How can you share that joy with others, especially those in need?

2. Practice patience. Perhaps there is something that you find yourself losing patience with or maybe you might be anxious about the many preparations there are for Christmas. Spend some time to place yourself in the presence of God, and breathe in the silence within you. Remind yourself that you are made in the image and likeness of God and that God’s love is within you.

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One Comment

  1. Thank you Ms. Reynolds. Rejoice always in God! I was told the JOY is when there is nothing between Jesus and you. Thanks like St. Augustine telling us to love God and do as we please because if we love God we will do what pleases Him. The bright pink color of today’s vestments is a striking to the somber purple of Advent to give us hope and joy that our Savior will soon be here. Gaudete!

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