HOMILY FOR THE 3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR B
1. SUMMARY OF IDEAS OF TODAY’S READINGS
- «Rejoice always in the Lord; I repeat: be happy. The Lord is near »(Entrance Antiphon and 2nd reading).
- The 1st reading presents us the prophet Isaiah’s joy upon being anointed by the Spirit of the Lord to announce the Good News of salvation, which will reach its fullness in Jesus Christ. He proclaims: “I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul.”
- In the Gospel, John the Baptist explains the reason of our hope and joy: there is someone after Him who is much greater than him: Our Lord Jesus Christ. And this leads us to be witnesses of Jesus’ presence by going out to meet Him in his Word and in the sacraments, and in our brethren (cf. Gospel).
- My soul rejoices in God, as the Responsorial Psalm helps us to unite today to the joy of the Mother of Jesus, who awaits his birth. And while waiting, let us give thanks to God, do what is good and refrain from evil, allowing God to work on our soul so that our joy will be full (Cf. 2nd reading)
Our Mother Church reminds us once more that the joy of this season and of Christianity is rooted in the fact that God has never abandoned us: He is present with us, here and now. We could examine ourselves: is He also present in our life, in our soul in grace? This is of utmost importance because true joy is not equivalent to just having a good time, having the possessions we need or experiencing fleeting pleasure. Rather, true joy is something much more profound.
2. CHRISTIAN JOY IS ROOTED IN HAVING GOD WITHIN ONE’S SOUL, ONE’S LIFE.
Pope Benedict XVI said that “True joy is linked to our relationship with God. Those who have encountered Christ in their own lives feel a serenity and joy in their hearts that no one and no situation can take from them. St Augustine understood this very well; in his quest for truth, peace and joy, after seeking them in vain in many things he concluded with his famous words: ‘and our heart is restless until it rests in God‘ (cf. Confessions, I, 1, 1).” ANGELUS ADDRESS, 11 December 2011
In this regard, St. Paul reminds us to rejoice always by praying without ceasing, thanksgiving, being docile to the Holy Spirit, doing what is good, refraining from every kind of evil, and preserving our body and soul blameless for the coming of Our Lord.
- “Brothers and sisters: Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything; retain what is good. Refrain from every kind of evil.” 1 Thes 5:16–22
- But above all, true joy “is a gift, born from the encounter with the living Person of Jesus and, making room within ourselves, from welcoming the Holy Spirit who guides our lives.” It is the invitation of the Apostle Paul who says: “May the God of peace make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will also accomplish it.” 1 Thes 5:23–24
Dear brethren in Christ, Our Mother Church reminds us this 3rd Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of Joy, to aim for that which really fills the aspirations of our heart and is the source of deep and lasting joy: God. True joy cannot be found in material things nor in relationships which though beautiful, noble, and fulfilling as they are, nevertheless, end here on earth. Rather, true joy is found in knowing, loving and possessing a Person: Our Lord Jesus Christ, and with Him, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
Let us then put our part by making sure that “God-is-with-us” and “in-us”, by living what St. Paul advised us to do, and at the same time, by allowing God to lead us by the hand, to work in our soul, polish, uproot, and chisel what needs to be done, being like “clay in the hands of the potter“, God Almighty.
Let us ask ourselves:
- Do we dedicate some time to be with God in prayer and frequent reception of the Sacraments, in particular, Confession and Holy Eucharist to make sure that God is with us and in us?
- Do we overcome our pride, selfishness, and laziness in order to serve God in the people around us in our home, in our workplace, and those who are in need?
- Do we contribute to the joy and peace in our surroundings through our cheerfulness, patience, tact, and charity? Do we avoid anything that would dampen the mood of our family, relatives and friends?
Let us entrust ourselves to the loving intercession of our Mother Mary, whose “spirit rejoices in God,” our Savior; she who is also the “Cause of our joy”, for she brought Jesus to us, and brings us back to Jesus when we stray along our path towards heaven.
A Blessed Sunday and week ahead!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.
FOR MORE, SEE AS WELL
3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR B MASS PRAYERS AND READINGS, CLICK HERE
3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR B HOMILY, GAUDETE OR REJOICE SUNDAY, CLICK HERE, HERE, AND HERE.
SEE AS WELL: “ADVENT 3: GOD WANTS US TO BE HAPPY”
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