Advent 2014

Third Sunday in Advent - December 14th

Is 61: 1-2, 10-11 / Lk 1: 46-48, 49-50, 53-54 /
1Thes 5: 16-24 / Jn 1: 6-8, 19-28

“In my God is the joy of my soul” (Is. 61:10).  Isaiah speaks of joy:  of glad tidings for the poor, healing for the brokenhearted, proclaiming liberty to captives, release to prisoners, announcing a year of favor from God, a day of vindication, justification.

“My soul rejoices in my God” from Luke again references Isaiah 61:10 and enumerates the good and merciful things God justly provides.

“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing” teaches Paul joyously to the Thessalonians. 

And from the Gospel of John, the Baptist teaches:  “’I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord,’’” as Isaiah the prophet said.”

There is much joy, and these readings bring to the fore that in each case it is an embodied joy, a joy which fills to capacity the human heart and soul.  It is a joy which propels Isaiah and the Blessed Mother and John the Baptist and indeed Paul to proclaim God's words.  The embodied joy seems to reflect the joy of the baby of Elizabeth who leaps within her at the sound of the voice of the mother of Jesus.

My experience of reading these readings today draws my attention particularly to my capacity to experience that joy.  Rather than consider my “action plan” I am drawn to consider, in this moment, how God is moving in me, changing me, drawing me near.  Taking a moment to reflect on this encounter is important.  And then, almost simultaneously, but next, we may consider:  When we acknowledge the joy that turns and leaps inside us what songs of praise and thanksgiving will God create in us and through us? What just and good works? Only God knows.

Anne Patricia Minicozzi
Center for Faith and Learning