“… the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” — the Gospel of Luke
The third week of Advent we light the candle of Joy (the pink candle!). This Sunday is also know as “Gaudete” Sunday. Gaudete is latin for “rejoice!” and comes from the first word of the Latin Mass from the 3rd Sunday of Advent (clearly a very ancient tradition to mark this Sunday as a joy-filled one!).
Joy is not the same as happiness, which may seem elusive in a time of loss. Joy is the deep river of assurance that is always there for us to dip into in spite of circumstances. Joy is not about denying suffering, but rather it is the embracing of the depths of all of life’s emotions that is the very thing that allows us to eventually feel the heights once more. The shepherds were very afraid when angels appeared and so they encouraged them, after they got over the shock, to rejoice because a baby had been born that would change hearts and help us find a better way.
Adapted from Dr. Marcia McFee’s Advent Resource
What is giving you joy this week? What are you celebrating in your heart?
“Somehow, not only for Christmas”
John Greenleaf Whittier – born Dec. 17, 1807
Somehow, not only for Christmas,
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others,
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing,
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart’s possessing,
Returns to you glad.