As we rejoice in God, God rejoices in us
by Sister Donna Koch
This third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means rejoice. In our readings, we are called to “shout for joy, exult, be glad, rejoice with all your heart, be kind, have no anxiety, pray, give thanks, make your requests known to God.” We do not rejoice just because Christmas is coming but because the presence of Jesus is with us day in and day out. The prophet Zephaniah says that “God will sing joyfully because of you.” Not only are we summoned to rejoice but we are reminded that God rejoices in us. Ask yourself, Do I believe that God rejoices in me?
In the Responsorial Psalm from Isaiah we hear “God has been my savior.” That phrase can lead us to remember and recount the events of the past. Looking back can help us realize that God was there on our journey even though it may have felt as if we were walking alone. Sometimes that realization is the impetus needed to help us move forward.
The Gospel tells us that John the Baptist preached good news to the crowd and was asked “What should we do?” He told them to share, to be honest, not to hoard, to be satisfied, not to falsely accuse and “exhorted them in many other ways.” When we are in doubt perhaps our first readings and John’s advice will give us some help. The challenge for us is to come before God with open hands trusting in the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We want to be beautiful out of our own resources whereas we are beautiful because God looks on us and makes us beautiful. That is Good News! We are filled with expectation and JOY! What should we do?