This Sunday is the Gaudete Sunday, third Sunday of Advent, when we are invited truly to rejoice because very soon we will celebrate the coming of Jesus, in flesh, in very humble circumstances, so humble probably in which neither of us would find joyful.
Fr. Vincent had a great reminder in his #homily today: For some of us, this great season of joy is not joyful at all, it might be a season of sadness – some of us might have lost loved ones and this is the first Christmas without them, or lost jobs or are having their last Christmas because of sickness. If you are experiencing this, this is exactly the reason Jesus came to us. He didn’t come because we have lights on the tree, cookies in the oven or elves on the shelves. He came to heal the broken hearted, release those in bondage and comfort us. The grace he offers us is the joy of the gospel that goes beyond our circumstances. God wants to be invited in our messy lives and struggles. The Jesus who eats, sleeps, drinks, he wanted to be with us.
We see the true joy of coming out of ourselves in John the Baptist, he is the one who Testifies, testifies to the Light. He had the amazing joy of knowing Jesus- he really didn’t live in great conditions: He wore camel hair clothing, ate locusts and was beheaded. He said he had the joy of being the friend of the bridegroom.
This joy is truly a Grace. Grace is a gift from God, a gift you don’t necessarily deserve or can receive through your own efforts. Faith is a Grace as well. These days I was praying for the grace of being able to recognize Jesus. It sounds funny, but there is a chance you would be face to face with Jesus and not know it is him. It happened before, when he came in flesh, many didn’t recognize him…. what a tragic thing that would be…so let’s pray for the grace of Faith and Joy!