Today, the Third Sunday of Advent, is called in Latin, Gaudete Sunday, which means rejoice. We rejoice today because the coming of the Lord is so near that we cannot help but think about it. With so many decorations up already before Thanksgiving people in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic are looking for reasons to be joyful.
The passage from Isaiah we hear today was written during a time of great hope. The Jewish people had been released from exile and could finally return to Jerusalem. Isaiah proclaims a year of favor, a jubilee year in which all property reverted to its original owner. Of course, the original owner of all worldly goods is God. The Messiah, Jesus Christ, is the fulfillment of this promised year of favor, bringing glad tidings, liberty, justice, and praise. And because he is with us always, every year is a year of favor. In Isaiah’s day it was a message of emancipation from exile, and a hope in a return to the holy city. With Jesus, it becomes freedom from sin and the hope of eternal life. Let this be an opportunity to refocus our attention on the true reason for the season. Rejoice, the Lord is near. So we prepare to celebrate this great feast with hearts and minds renewed.
Love, Peace, Joy