This Third Sunday of advent we celebrate Joy!
What a cause for rejoicing this third week. It is cause for extra exultant joy that this year on the third Sunday of Advent we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadeloupe. To celebrate this Feast in the midst of our Advent Rejoicing brings the words of Saint Paul in his letter to the Philippians to life. ” Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!“
My thoughts and reflections are drawn to the simple Naujuatal man in his service of his family and ultimately to God in honoring the wishes of our Blessed Mother of Tepeyac. To honor Mary the mother of our Savior is to glorify Christ. There is one intercessor before God and that is His Son Jesus Christ and Mary leads us to Him, she intercedes to her Son on our behalf.
Juan Diego is the simple servant whose concern for his uncle and the plight of his people under conquest is transformed to joy. He is a servant of Joy that transforms not only his life but the lives of his people for the woman clothed with the sun tells him, “Am I not here who is your Mother? What joy the Virgin of Tapeyac brought a people who experienced so much suffering. Let the joy of Guadeloupe be our Joy this Advent
The words of the prophet Zephaniah resound in our hearing,
“ Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,”
The Lord our God is in our midst, yes He is amongst us, within us and ever present to us. Even in the midst of what might appear gloom, he proclaims a message of joy for God’s people. It is this joy that each Christian must live out in his or her life. There is no circumstance that we face that God cannot transform to joy. Our lives have experienced so much as my heart is moved by so many who suffer in our midst. We remind those suffering on the peripheries they are not alone nor forgotten. What a blessing it is to bring joy to others, that we become servants of joy. No just in a fleeting moment but we the Christian is called to make the Joy of knowing Christ a wellspring that flows from the glory of God through us to reach the sorrowful, the downtrodden. When the prophet John is asked in today’s Gospel by those after being being Baptized what they should do he says “Whoever has two cloaks
should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.”
What blessings we have are meant to be shared to be a blessing and joy to others. John proclaims to good news with joy, so to are we called to be servants of Joy! Let us embrace this weekend in a special way the Spirit of joy as we await the celebration of Christmas.