HOMILY FOR THE 3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR A.
Dear all, here’s the post for this 3rd Sunday of Advent Year A which explains why the Church rejoices in a special manner! A Holy and Happy Advent to all! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
OUTLINE FULL TEXT
- WHAT IS THE REASON FOR OUR JOY?
- OUR INTERIOR JOY ARISES NOT ONLY BECAUSE OUR LORD IS NEAR BUT BECAUSE OUR LORD IS WITH US!
- WHEN DO WE LOSE THIS INTERIOR JOY?
- THE NEFARIOUS CONSEQUENCES OF SADNESS AND THE REMEDY.
- WHAT TO DO TO BE TRULY HAPPY HERE ON EARTH?
Today marks the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year A, also known as “Gaudete” (Latin for “Rejoice!” or “Be glad/happy!”) Sunday. This is the reason why in some ADVENT WREATHS, there is a PINK CANDLE which differentiates it from the rest. In some Churches as well, instead of using the purple vestments, PINK priestly vestments will be utilized (if the church has them).
The Church encourages us to be glad and happy and for what reason? The answer can be found in the Entrance Antiphon of the Holy Mass:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again i say,
rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near! (Phil, 4:4-5)
The nearness of Our Lord is the reason of our joy. At the same time, Scriptures also reminds us that the true and lasting object of our happiness is nothing else but God. Rejoice in the Lord always!
Pope Benedict XVI commenting on these words of St. Paul said:
“If the loved one, love, the greatest gift of my life, is close to me, if I can be convinced that the one who loves me is close to me, even in situations of suffering, JOY THAT REMAINS IN THE DEPTH OF MY HEART IS EVER GREATER THAN ALL SUFFERINGS
(Benedict XVI, FIRST GENERAL CONGREGATION OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS, Oct. 3, 2005).”
With the words of St. Paul, our Mother Church tells us to rejoice because the Lord is close to each one of us, but not only for this reason, let us not forget that GOD-IS-WITH-US already!
- He is in us, in our soul in grace or when we receive Him in Holy Communion and receive his pardon in the Sacrament of Confession
- He is with us in the tabernacle and if we are keen enough to seek Him,
- He is with us in all the circumstances and events of our life. We need to be aware of the -hidden but real- presence of Christ in us, in our daily affairs and in the Eucharist which is a fountain of real and profound joy.
However, this interior joy disappears when we separate ourselves from Our Lord and start living only for our self.
“For a Christian, joy is a treasure. Only by offending God do we lose it, because sin is the fruit of selfishness, and selfishness is the root of sadness. (St. Josemaria, “Christ is Passing By”, n. 178).”You are unhappy? Think: there must be an obstacle between God and me. You will seldom be wrong. (St. Josemaria, “The Way”, n. 662).” “You are not happy because you make everything revolve around yourself as if you were always the centre: you have a stomach-ache, or you are tired, or they have said this or that …have you ever tried thinking about him, and through him, about others? (St. Josemaria, Furrow, n. 74).”
Selfishness, egotism, and living for one’s self, ultimately result to sadness, in spite of all the worldly pleasures which a materialistic, individualistic and hedonistic lifestyle could provide. The reason is simple: The material can never be able to satisfy the spiritual longings our heart was made for. In order to achieve happiness, what we need is not an easy, comfortable life, but rather, a heart which is in love (cf. St. Josemaría, Furrow, n.795).
Moreover, sadness has nefarious consequences:
- it leads one to seek worldly compensations to fill in the void he has in his soul; his dealings with others are characterized by anger and pessimism;
- it gives way to impurity, envy, egotism, indifference, division and so on…
Hence, we have to fight not only against sin but sadness as well. How?
Let us seek God’s Mercy and pardon in the Sacrament of Joy, the Sacrament of Confession in order to recover the fountain of, God’s presence in our soul.
We must not forget that authentic happiness here on earth is the result of three inseparable elements:
- STRIVE TO HAVE GOD IN OUR SOUL ALWAYS: UNION WITH GOD;
- INTERIOR STRUGGLE TO OVERCOME AND FORGET ONE’S SELF FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND OTHERS;
- AND, LIVING A LIFE OF SERVICE FOR OTHERS.
Behold, “I knock at your door, listen to me, open up to me (Rev 3:20).”
- Let us not be deaf to Our Lord who invites us to attain real happiness.
- Only can we hear his invitation if we silence the mundane noise brought about by a worldly mindset and lifestyle.
- Only when we clean our heart inside out, purifying it from sin and removing what is not essential, can the Lord have a place in our heart.
“O God, who see how your people faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity, enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvation, and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing
(Opening Prayer, Mass of 3rd Sunday of Advent).”
AUDIO CREDIT AND SOURCE: Angels We Have Heard on High Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
ORIGINAL PHOTO SOURCES: Photos used in this video are for didactic and non-commercial purposes. No copyrights infringement intended.
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