We call the 3rd Sunday of Advent GAUDETE SUNDAY (Gaudete, a Latin word which means "Rejoice"). We light the 3rd candle of the Advent wreath, whose color, pink or rose, symbolizes joy. The Church today calls us to rejoice as a people because the coming of the Messiah is very near. We should be happy because we are now very close to Christmas.
What will bring us joy this Christmas season? What is it that makes us excited for Christmas?
For many of us, we are excited to receive the things we wanted to acquire this Christmas. For workers, bonuses and increase in salaries; for parents, house appliances and vehicles; for children, toys and chocolates; for adults, cellphones and tablets. These are what we call the joys that come from Santa Claus.
However, there is a deeper kind of joy that the Church would like us to receive and experience this Christmas season. One may call It the Joy of the Gospel.
To the disciples of John, the Lord Jesus said, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them."
The Joy of the Gospel includes: health and wellbeing to the sick, forgiveness and light to those in darkness, newness of life to the dead, hope and inspiration to those in despair. These are the joys that can only come from the Lord Jesus.
Joy from Santa Claus or Joy from Jesus - which do we prefer?