3rd Sunday of Advent Year B
Isaiah 61:1-2a. 10-11 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 John 1:6-8.19-28
Theme: Rejoice in the Lord
Today is the third Sunday of Advent and it is known as the Gaudete Sunday (Sunday of joy) because the birth of Christ is getting closer. We see the character of the advent season reflecting in all the readings we have for this Sunday. It is a period of preparation to meet Christ at Christmas, and we are giving insight about what we should do to better prepare for this coming celebration.
In the first reading, we see the prophet Isaiah presenting a message of hope and joy to the people. This is coming at a time when they are passing through difficulties and challenges in their lives. He is grateful that God is using him as an instrument through which he relays his message to his people. In his message, we see a man who is happy and fulfilled about the fact that God is using him as a means through which he reaches his people. He appreciates what God is doing in his life. As children of God, we should learn to emulate the prophet Isaiah by appreciating what God is doing in our lives and make ourselves worthy instruments for God to use us for the greater glory of his name and for our own good too.
St. Paul in today’s second reading, invites us to always rejoice. He presents great words of admonition. Words that give us insights into what we should do to become wonderful instrument in the hand of God, as we prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas. He points out very important things that we must practice in our lives and what we should not do. It is left for you and I as children of God to make use of his admonitions or not. St. Paul encourages us to rejoice always, pray always and always give thanks no matter the situation we find ourselves in life. Hold fast to what is good and abstain from evil. Dear friends in Christ, let us make effort to put all these into good use in our lives, and see how God will embarrass us with his blessings.
In the gospel reading, we see another wonderful attribute that we are all encouraged to make good use of as we prepare for the coming of Christ during this season of advent. This is seen in the life of John the Baptist; it is the virtue of humility. It is a necessity in the lives of the people of God. Some of us would have claimed the position of the Messiah, exploiting the ignorance of the people. But John the Baptist did not do that, because he understood his mission and was contented. Contentment is very important in the life of a follower of Christ; it will keep you away from problems and attract God’s blessings to you. May God grant us the grace to live lives that are always pleasing to him. Peace be with you!