Third Sunday of Advent
Lk 3:10-18
December 12, 2021

In earlier times, Christians observed an Advent fast. As Christmas approached, a break in the fast was permitted and that day of relief was given the name Gaudete Sunday…which means JOY!

Actually, the entire Season is (or should be) filled with JOY! But, over time, the fast was forgotten while Gaudete Sunday remained. A simple way to think of it is to recall the feeling we experience when we find that we are: Almost there! Just about finished. Not long now! Soon…very soon!

That being said, sometimes, when we finally arrive…or accomplish…or achieve…something we have been working towards…mixed in with the sense of JOY is a wave of apprehension. What now? Where do I go from here? What’s next?

Maybe, after the JOY and excitement of hearing and responding to John the Baptist’s call to conversion and transformation, his followers experienced those feelings that kids often struggle with the morning after graduation. What do I do now?

At first glance, his response to their question: What should we do? seems pretty severe. On its face, this is a message of extreme charity.

But just possibly he is “dumbing down” what he had been preaching to them right along. Maybe what he is saying is that once we are converted and transformed, we are able to relax a little…and stop worrying and stressing out about earthly matters…confident that God will find us where we wait patiently for Him.

It makes sense.

After all, when we learn to LET GO and LET GOD, JOY and PEACE fill the space that stress and worry once occupied.

So then, Rejoice in the Lord always! AI say it again…rejoice…The Lord is near!