Third Sunday Of Advent, Year B
December 13, 2020 – 10:30 AM
Saint Cecilia Catholic Community
Deacon Sharon Kay Talley
Isaiah 61:1-2A | Luke: 1:46-50;53-54
I Thessalonians 5:16-24 | John 1:6-28;19-28
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Today, we celebrate the Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent. We will light the rose-colored candle for this. Gaudete is the Latin word for “Rejoice”.
Today, all of our readings are filled with hope and rejoicing in the coming of Jesus at Christmas. Just as the prophet Nehemiah said to the Israelites: “Go and enjoy…Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
In today’s first reading from Isaiah, Isaiah declared that he will greatly rejoice in the Lord and his spirit shall exult the Lord God. This is because the Lord who comes has been anointed with the Holy Spirit to help those who are oppressed. Enslaved, heartbroken, and all those who mourn.
In our second reading from First Thessalonians. Paul advises us to “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances for this is what Jesus wants from us. We need to keep focused on our journey and our duty during this wonderful season of Advent.
Our Gospel today tells another prophecy from the “Prophet of Prophets”, John the Baptist. Last week, we heard the account from Mark’s Gospel from Fr. David, whereas, today we hear from the Gospel of John. The messages of both are basically the same: “The voice that cries out in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord.”
It emphasizes our purpose to stay alert and prepare for the coming of the Lord. Although today we are given time to relax and rejoice, we must be ever mindful that today’s rejoicing foreshadows the ultimate rejoicing that Jesus will bring at Christmas.
The Gospel of John is unique from the “synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The Synoptics relate the miracles, parables, and events of Jesus’ life and ministry.
Generally speaking, the Synoptics tell us what Jesus did, whereas, the Gospel of John tells us who Jesus is and gives us deep insight into Jesus’ divinity.
John the Baptist is a messenger sent from God. He came to testify to the light so that all might believe. The word “light” is defined as life. This “life” or “light” is a gift Jesus brought to us. John states, “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him, there is no darkness at all. If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.“
When the Jews sent the priests and Levites to him and asked, “Who are you?”, He admitted, “I am not the Christ.” So they asked him, “What then are you? Are you Elijah?” And he answered, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He replied, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?”
He replied, “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert make straight the way of the Lord.: as Isaiah the prophet said.”
John the Baptist was not concerned about being considered great or important. His main mission was to exult and point to Jesus: the One who is to come whose sandal strap he is unworthy to untie.
As Catholics and Christians, we have much to rejoice about! We have a relationship with God and we have gained access to a holy family. We have been given the opportunity for everlasting life and the assurance that we are loved.
By the example set by John the Baptist, let us show our faith by knowing that no matter what trial, obstacle, pandemic, or torment comes upon us, we know that Jesus is present and that He will bring peace, love, and happiness for all who truly believe in Him.
Let us rejoice in the Light just as John the Baptist taught us to do.