Be Joyful!

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The Third Sunday in Advent, Year B
13 December 2020

Be Joyful! 

The Collect: Stir up Your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let Your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with You and the Holy Spirit, be honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen. 

Reflection: We started, Advent with the theme of hope. And, in the context of the current pandemic with its attendant turmoil, one could reasonably ask, “What does that hope look like?” For most, it is simply that life will soon return to the pre-pandemic normal that we knew. 

But, as believers, hope represents more than just returning to what was and instead represents for us, a transformed world, where our lives are ruled and determined by Christ. This transformed world is the Kingdom of Heaven that John the forerunner announced, and that the prophets foresaw. It is the reality in which we recognize that the power is not in us but in the goodness, grace and mercy of the Triune God, whose grace will allow for the lion and the lamb to coexist, and for the reconciliation of the various differences that divide us as humanity, to unite us as one with God.

Such hope dispels all fear and any doubt and gives way to joy, which is the theme for this week.

The impending Second Coming of Christ is, and should be, the main reason for our joy, when the world becomes fully the realm of Christ, when strife, tensions and divisions will end, and peace and pure joy will prevail. This is the joyful expectation we are called to proclaim. So, we cannot remain still, doing nothing or not enough in preparation for the fulfillment of the Kingdom of our Lord! 

Be filled with the joy and the light that comes from our God! Listen yet again to the message of the apostles and prophets, who proclaimed a Christ who brings fullness to all. Be of good cheer and be joyous my brothers and sisters!

Advent is a period of longing for Christ’s return and for Him to live in our hearts and rule our lives. It can therefore only be filled with joy, as the evidence of what we experience and know of what Christ does for us. In Him is true happiness. During these Advent and Christmas periods, it is not truly the time for gifts, ornaments, Christmas trees or nativity scenes but, instead, a time to learn to cultivate the discipline of walking with the prophets, happily waiting for Jesus Christ to come again. 

For now, we are walking with Mary, who joyfully said “yes” to God’s call for her life. We are walking in the desert, with John the Baptist, waiting anxiously for the one who is the greatest of all prophets, and we are walking in prayer with all the Christian communities knowing that He has already come, He is among us in the Sacrament and has left His Holy Spirit to lead the Church. And for all of that, we are thankful, happy and joyous.

Be joyful, Christ is near!

Meditation: Fill us with Your everlasting joy, O Christ, as we wait for Your coming in glory.

Prayer: Send Your Spirit, O Lord, into our hearts, so we may call You, “Abba” and see Your mercy in our lives. Hasten the coming of Your Son, and fill us with joy that surpasses all understanding, in Christ’s name we pray. Amen.