In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 3, different people keep asking John the Baptist, “What should we do?” How many times have we found ourselves asking the very same question? When we’re overwhelmed by poverty and racism, what should we do? When we hear about violence against innocent people, what should we do? Lastly, perhaps most troubling, when we examine our own consciences and consider the many ways in which we have fallen short of holiness, what should we do?
St. Paul advises in his letter to the Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” It is because of these words that this Sunday is known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is Latin for rejoice, and perhaps this Sunday’s liturgical focus is the answer to our question: What we ought to do is rejoice! Gaudete!
When we’re tempted to despair because it seems that darkness and sin prevail, we must rejoice. Rejoice because God took on human flesh and became a helpless infant so that he might be like us in every way except sin. Rejoice because Christ was willing to endure the most horrible death to save us from everlasting death. Rejoice because Jesus truly rose from the grave and because the mercy he offers is inexhaustible. Rejoice because he loves us enough to be with us still today and become food for us in the Holy Eucharist. This is what we should do: Rejoice! Gaudete!
It doesn’t stop there, though. Authentic rejoicing will change us. The joy of our salvation will transform our lives and lead us to be the presence of Christ to the broken world. Then when people want to know why we’re rejoicing, we’ll be able to tell them about God’s love for the whole world and invite them to join us: Rejoice! Gaudete!
College of Engineering, Class of 2018
Advent comes from the Latin word, adventus – an arrival or a coming. In the context of the season, Advent means that the Lord is coming. Read more of the Advent introduction...
First Week of Advent
Second Week of Advent
Third Week of Advent
Fourth Week of Advent