Posted by: geolocke | 2015/12/13

Advent 2015 – 3rd Sunday

This morning I light three candles on the Advent wreath. While the first two candles are colored purple, – a color that reminds me to reflect upon my life, – today’s candle is colored rose, a visual sign that today is a day for rejoicing! Today’s readings are words of rejoicing, excitement and expectation of the coming season of Christmas – the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

While the commercial world already considers us to be in the Christmas season, a season that will end Christmas day only to be replaced immediately by whatever the next sales-oriented holiday lies on the calendar, the Church is busy preparing  for the coming of Christmas which begins with Midnight Mass when the clock ticks over from the eve of December 24th to the morning of December 25th.

By the Church’s calendar, the Christmas season runs from that moment that Midnight Mass begins through the last day of the week following Epiphany, the Mass where we remember and celebrate the visit of three Magi to the Holy Family and they present their gifts to the child, proclaiming him to be the new-born King.

So this season before Christmas is called Advent. Advent is a time of waiting and reflecting upon the coming of the Christ Child at Christmas (Christ Mass), and preparing our hearts, our minds and our homes to welcome this child into our lives.  Thus the normal color of this season is purple for reflection, but today we have rose for rejoicing.

Today we rejoice because the end of our wait is near. The added light of this third candle reminds us that the long dark night of mankind is almost over. Soon our King will come and His Light will be like the brilliance of the sun appearing after the darkest storm cloud has passed.

Today’s rejoicing is also reflected in the scripture readings and the Psalm for today. Today’s first reading from chapter three of the book of the Prophet Zephaniah (one of my favorites) begins:

Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!

When properly proclaimed, this passage is guaranteed to wake up the sleepiest congregation. The first reading is followed by the Psalm, which today is actually a passage from the twelfth chapter of the book of the Prophet Isaiah:

Cry out with joy and gladness:
for among you is the great and Holy one of Israel.

The psalm is followed by today’s second reading from the fourth chapter of St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians:

Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!

And finally we come to the reading from the third chapter of Luke’s Gospel. Here we find the crowds asking John the Baptist what they should do. Even tax collectors and soldiers were asking him how they should live their lives. Everyone was excited and expectant that John the Baptist might be the long-expected Christ, but John deflects their expectations and redirects their focus to the one who is yet to come:

I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

And with that we are brought back to reality. The time of celebration is not yet. We rejoice at the thought that the coming of the Lord is near, but we must wait just a little longer. We must finish our preparations. We must finish cleaning the cobwebs from our homes and our hearts. We must prepare for the family and guests who will visit us this coming Christmas season, and for the one guest we hope will come and stay in our lives. So we return to busying ourselves with our final preparations while in our hearts we sing: “Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!”

Have a blesséd and fruitful Advent Season. -geo



  1. We will indeed with your beautiful reflection!xxmargarita

    Sent from my iPhone



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