Sunday, December 13th 2020 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin

This weekend we celebrate the Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday. “Gaudete” comes from the Latin word, meaning “rejoice.” As Catholic Christians our disposition should be characterized by a spirit of rejoicing. There seems to be a sincere lack of rejoicing evident in the world today.

Our First Reading, from Isaiah, expresses a fitting motto for us. “I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul.” It is God Who is the source of our joy and contentment — not things or achievements or comfort, but our relationship with God. I believe the farther we move away from God the less joy and contentment we have in life.


he more joy filled and grateful that we are, the freer we feel to share of their time, talents and material possessions — because ultimately, we are not attached to these things. We recognize them as generous gifts from our loving Father, but we are attached to the Giver of the gifts, not the gifts themselves. This allows for great freedom in life and the capacity for great joy in the Lord.

We can become like John the Baptist, in today’s Gospel passage from the Book of John. We read this description of the prophet: “He came for testimony, to testify to the light… He was not the light but came to testify to the light.” This is our calling too — to testify to the Light, our wonderful Savior Jesus Christ — by the way we make use of the time, talent and treasure God has entrusted to our care.

When God Himself is the source of our joy, it cannot be taken away from us. There is still time, this Advent season, to clear away any “clutter” in our lives that may take our focus away from Him. Let us strive to detach from any of these things so that we can be free to truly rejoice in God on Christmas Day and throughout the year.