Dear Cathedral Family,
If you have been feeling a bit “blah” in this season of preparation for Christmas, this Sunday is for you! (And if you are already excited, you are primed for this Sunday!) The third Sunday in Advent is the Sunday of the pink candle, the joy candle. Its traditional name is “Gaudete Sunday,” or “Rejoice Sunday,” named for the recurring theme of the lessons from scripture. They urge us to make a shift in the way we respond to our feelings.
Some days we feel like the wrongs of the world are too much, too great to overcome; some days we feel like our lives are out of our control, dragging us along from one thing to the next; some days we doubt our own ability to cope and keep going. Isaiah gives us God’s promise of universal restoration, for the whole earth and all its people; the psalm says that tears can turn into shouts of joy; Paul urges patience accompanied by rejoicing in what is coming and praying for it, giving thanks in advance; John the Baptist stands in the wilderness and proclaims the light and the Good News. We can wait for Jesus with confidence and anticipation of coming joy.
This Sunday is here to help to give the boost, the spark, the infusion of joy we need to get us to Christmas. That help begins with the gift of our children, in their annual Christmas Pageant, beginning at 9:30 a.m. They will embody the good news of Jesus’ birth and offer us their wisdom and hope about the days to come.
The outpouring of gifts this year for our Angel Tree project is a sign of the coming joy of Christmas. These presents, distributed through the Family Intervention Team of the Mobile Police Department, will brighten the lives of children who may have been living with uncertainty about whether Christmas would come for them. Thank you for your generosity in giving, and for your loving hands in wrapping, organizing, and preparing these gifts for young people we may never meet, but whom we love because God loves them. The anticipation of their joy makes our joy greater.