Dear Cathedral Family and Friends,
The third Sunday in Advent is known as “Gaudete Sunday”: “gaudete” is the Latin word for “rejoice,” the first word of the traditional introit for this day. More familiarly, we might think of this Sunday as the day of the pink candle. The lessons and the tone of Advent begin to lighten and become more joyous as the light of Christmas draws nearer. This is our Sunday to claim joy.
Sometimes we find it hard to access joy these days, and yet there are real joys and hopes that we share. Even though we must acknowledge the real dangers presented by the continuing pandemic, we can still maintain healthy hope and even reach for joy in our shared life together in God’s household.
This Sunday we will read Isaiah’s proclamation of the “year of the Lord’s favor,” what we sometimes call “Jubilee.” God sends his prophet to bring encouragement to the people in exile. God promises to make them strong, deeply rooted “oaks of righteousness” and to rebuild the ruins of their lives. John’s gospel shows us John the Baptizer proclaiming this same Good News about the coming of the Messiah.
The One for whom we are preparing is already present, yet still unseen and unacknowledged. But He was and is and will be among us.
Where might you look in your life to see the joy that is hidden from view? How can you access that joy to strengthen your hope for a better, stronger future for our world?
May you know God’s peace,