Third Sunday of Advent 2020 – Gaudete Sunday

Gaudete Sunday

As we continue our Advent journey, we come upon this Third Sunday of Advent known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means “rejoice”. We rejoice this Sunday because we celebrate the nearness of the coming of the Lord.

Once again in our Sunday Scripture we hear from the great prophet Isaiah. He tells us that he is filled with the Spirit of the Lord and is sent to bring glad tidings and to heal the brokenhearted.

Let’s think about this for a moment. If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, what does that look like? What would you be doing if you were filled with the Holy Spirit? One answer is found in the words and actions of the prophet Isaiah.

If one is filled with the Holy Spirit, one is filled with rejoicing. This means that one is joyful and grateful. A person who is filled with the Holy Spirit of the Lord is exuberant and excited to recognize God’s blessings. A person filled with the Holy Spirit easily sees the goodness of the Lord even amidst challenges and trials. And this Spirit is overflowing. A person filled with the Holy Spirit not only identifies their own blessings, but also those of others – giving voice to God‘s presence in this world. Such a person joyfully and gratefully proclaims the goodness of the Lord in the lives of others.

Do we who follow Christ match this description? Do we have this sense of jubilation, this sense of rejoicing? Do you see God‘s blessings in your life? Perhaps even a time of challenge can be seen as a blessing if it leads us to a deeper understanding of who we are created to be – thereby drawing us closer to the Lord.

If we are experiencing our own personal desert experience, we can draw closer to the Lord who went into the desert to deepen His own identity as the Messiah. He emerged triumphant over temptation – evermore resolute and rooted in His sense of being sent by God the Father.

We strive to be people filled with the Holy Spirit. Let us be rooted in our identity as those who are sent to bring glad tidings to all we meet.

Can we heal the brokenhearted? We can be an instrument of God’s grace if we see God‘s work in the lives of others and joyfully give voice to what we see. To say it more plainly, we lift the spirits of others when we help them to see God‘s presence in their lives. We count not only our blessings but those of others. This leads to a spirit of gratitude. And a spirit of gratitude leads to a spirit of joy.

Start with a look around your own life. What are The blessings that you have? A warm place to sleep, good food that you know will be provided, care and love for family and friends. These are very important things that many in this world do not have.

Let us be on the lookout for reasons to be grateful to God – easily seeing our blessings and those of others.

We pray that our hearts may be filled with the Holy Spirit granting us exuberant and overflowing gratitude – so that We May Go Forth – Rejoicing and Healing the brokenhearted.

Is 61:1-2a, 10-11

I rejoice heartily in the Lord.

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah

The spirit of the LORD GOD is upon me,
   because the LORD has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor,
   to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
   and release to the prisoners,
to announce a year of favor from the LORD
   and a day of vindication by our God.

I rejoice heartily in the LORD,
   in my God is the joy of my soul;
for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation
   and wrapped me in a mantle of justice,
like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem,
   like a bride bedecked with her jewels.
As the earth brings forth its plants,
   and a garden makes its growth spring up,
so will the LORD GOD make justice and praise
   spring up before all the nations.

Lk 1:46-48, 49-50, 53-54

R. (Is 61:10b) My soul rejoices in my God.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
   my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
   From this day all generations will call me blessed:

R. My soul rejoices in my God.

The Almighty has done great things for me,
   and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
   in every generation.

R. My soul rejoices in my God.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
   and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
   for he has remembered his promise of mercy,

R. My soul rejoices in my God.

1 Thes 5:16-24

May you entirely, spirit, soul and body, be preserved blamesless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians

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.

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.

Is 61:1 (cited in Luke 4:18)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has annointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Jn 1:6-8, 19-28

There is one among you whom you do not recognize.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.

And this is the testimony of John.
When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him
to ask him, “Who are you?”
he admitted and did not deny it,
but admitted, “I am not the Christ.”
So they asked him,
“What are you then? Are you Elijah?”
And he said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
So they said to him,
“Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?
What do you have to say for yourself?”
He said:
“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘make straight the way of the Lord
as Isaiah the prophet said.”
Some Pharisees were also sent.
They asked him,
“Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John answered them,
“I baptize with water;
but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,
where John was baptizing.

At the end of the Gospel, the Deacon, or the Priest, acclaims:

The Gospel of the Lord.

All reply:

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

2 thoughts on “Third Sunday of Advent 2020 – Gaudete Sunday

  1. May God increase joy in His Catholic Church ! May every priest be a vehicle of grace and joy. I thank God for my parish priest in the Diocese of Rockford and for your reflections Andrew Hougan.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I rejoice! I rejoice for my Catholic faith! I rejoice for my priest and pastor! I rejoice for the Diocese of Rockford. I rejoice for Father Andrew Hougan and father Andrew Hougan – for both your roles and life ministries.

    Liked by 1 person

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