Today, the Third Sunday of Advent, is also called Gaudete Sunday. This name comes from the antiphon we use at Mass today. The antiphon, in Latin “Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete” or in English “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice” has been used on this day since the ninth century. So, today reminds us both of the joy of expectation of the coming of our Saviour at Christmas and of the traditions of our ancient faith which we continue to celebrate in our Mass today. In the spirit of the joy of expectation, the Church marks today with rose-coloured vestments and we light the rose-coloured candle in our Advent Wreath.
The readings for this Sunday also tell us of the expectant joy of this season of waiting for the Lord. Zephaniah sets the tone: “Shout for joy, daughter of Zion,
Israel, shout aloud! Rejoice, exult with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem!!” (Zephaniah 3:14). The prophet piles on the exhortations to joy: exult, rejoice, sing, shout!
What is the source of our joy, the prophet says: “The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst; you have no more evil to fear” (Zephaniah 3:15).
Even God himself sings with Joy, because we his people are responding to his call: “God will exult with joy over you, he will renew you by his love; he will dance with shouts of joy for you as on a day of festival” (Zephaniah 3:17-18).
The Second reading picks up the theme as it tells us: “I want you to be happy, always happy in the Lord; I repeat, what I want is your happiness.” (Philippians 4:4)
So, this Sunday, we speak of joy of happiness, a joy and happiness of a people redeemed and restored, but also the joy of a God who is deeply invested in the life of the world. God sings. God shouts. God rejoices. And we, we who are wondrously and inexplicably God’s beloved, join in the celebration.
Engagement with the Synodal Church – Our Next Listening Session
The final Parishioner Consultation Meeting takes place on Wednesday, 15th December between 6:30-8:00pm.
All parishioners, who have not yet attended a consultation meeting, are invited to attend. If you plan to attend, please register at the information desk at the rear of the Church this weekend; or, if preferred, register online through the parish portal.
This week’s newsletter can be found here.