The appointed time draws near and we are now deep into the Advent Season. The third Sunday of Advent is also called Gaudete SundayGaudete, a Latin word which means “rejoice,” is a reminder that Advent is a season of joy because our salvation is already at hand.

However, it is understandable that many are anxious and worried as many amongst us are still reeling from despair brought about by the pandemic. A number of jobs are gone and others have lost their loved ones to the disease. There is hopeful anticipation though as businesses are already opening up and everyone is praying that a better Christmas is up compared to a year ago. We are also grateful that the average number of CoVid19 cases are continuously dropping despite the threat of a new variant. 

St. Paul exhorts us in today’s Second Reading (Phil. 4: 4-7),

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Let us continue to purify ourselves worthy of the Lord’s coming. We can divert our energy at helping others to make the season meaningful and bright. “Caring and personal happiness, they go together”, said Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB, in his homily today. As St. Paul said,

Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again:  rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near.

Christmas is just thirteen days away and Holy Mother Church reminds us to continue our reflection on the person and mission of St. John the Baptist — a great example of humility and meekness. St. John remained humble despite a great following in his time. In today’s Gospel (Lk. 3: 10-18), the crowds were asking him a lot of questions, to which he answered them well. 

Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the ChristJohn answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Today, let us continue to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Let us continue to reflect on the meaning of His birth:

Are you rejoicing that the Lord’s coming is at hand? 

Are you prepared spiritually to meet and receive Christ when He comes?  

Have you considered making others happy by sharing and caring? 

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.” (Is. 61: 1)

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