Saturday, 16 December 2017 17:07

3rd Sunday of Advent

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2017A3Web200Today is Gaudete Sunday. The name comes from the first word of the Entrance Antiphon in Latin which means, ‘Rejoice’: Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice! Indeed, the Lord is near.

That is what we are rejoicing in: God’s nearness to us. We recognise that nearness in the presence of Jesus, born so long ago, and his continuing presence through the Holy Spirit in our lives now. We rejoice that God has always been with us, whether we realised it or not. God has never left us.

Advent is very much about a fresh discovery of God’s presence and grace in our lives, in our own moment of history.

This is what we are celebrating on Christmas Day, too. Christ is God’s great present to the human family. Christmas celebrates not only the birth of Jesus in one moment of human history, but his continual birth in us so that he may be present in every moment of human history.

As we wait for the final coming of Jesus we, like John the Baptist, are called to be witnesses to the Light. We do that best by taking up the mission of the prophet in the first reading, just as Jesus did. The Lord has anointed us to bring Good News to the poor, to bind up hearts that are broken, to proclaim liberty to captives, freedom to those in prison and a year of favour from the Lord. God trusts us to do that. We have been commissioned by the Church through our Baptism to do that.

Our faith in (living relationship with) Christ is meant to be lived openly, generously and graciously, at the service of our brothers and sisters in the world by being the living presence of Jesus in our own day and age.

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