The webpage of the Youth Ministry of the Irish Province of Augustinians

Third Sunday of Advent, Year C - 16th December, 2012

Today is one of the two days in the year which in which the focus is placed on joy.  In fact, it is known as "Gaudete" Sunday.  Gaudete is a Latin word which means "Rejoice".  One interesting thing about this word is that it is in the imperative form of the verb which means that it has the character or an order or an instruction.  We are being told to rejoice!

To receive such an order is somewhat strange.  It is not normal to be ordered to enjoy ourselves.  This is something that happens naturally or not at all.  I think there is something else going on here.  When today's liturgy tells us to rejoice it is like a reminder to someone who has forgotten something important.  We are being told not to forget to rejoice - this may be a time of penance but don't forget that Christian penance is always about rejoicing.

I am  not sure about the experience of other people but my own learning about penance was all about doing something unpleasant for the very strange reason that it would be pleasing to God.  This doesn't make sense.  God wants us to be happy.  To do something miserable to please God is incompatible with this.

Christian penance is always about preparation.  It is always about preparation of ourselves for something greater that is to come.  "Repent and believe the good news" is a sentence that has to be taken as a unit.  It can be read as "As you repent, be sure to keep your minds focused on the good news".

That is what today is all about - the good news.  God so loved the world that he sent his son to be be our saviour.  Advent is about removing whatever makes it difficult for us to go to encounter this son.  However, whatever has happened, whatever we might have done, whatever is "our fault" - the fact remains that God has loved us so much that we can never cease to rejoice.

As Christians we are to be spreaders of the good news.  What are you going to do during this coming week to bring "joy to the world"?


Article posted on 16th of December 2012

Click here for a printable version of this page
Web Analytics