Meditation for the Third Sunday of Advent, A: Rejoice – Vatican News

Jesuit Father Jean-Paul Savi introduces us to meditation with the texts of the third Sunday of Advent liturgical year A.

Readings: Is 35, 1-6a. 10; PS: 145 (146), 7, 8, 9ab. 10a; Jk: 5, 7-10; Mt: 11, 2-11.

Dear brothers and sisters, today we celebrate the third Sunday of Advent. It is the Sunday of joy and the texts of the Mass invite us to rejoice because God himself is coming to save us. But what does this mean for us today? On this Sunday of Gaudete, the Church invites us to take a break in the middle of Advent to review our journey towards Christmas. Is Advent just a routine for us or do we really experience the coming of Emmanuel, the God with us?

In the first reading, the prophet Isaiah invites the people of Israel in captivity in Babylon to rejoice. But how could the people rejoice in a land of exile? Did he really have cause for joy? Today when the liturgy of the Church invites us to joy, do we really have reason to rejoice? When we see our world full of contradictions and conflicts, when we see our Church in difficulty, when we see our families in which peace and reconciliation are slow to be realized, when we see our life with its crises and worries, when we see our human relationships marked by its conflicts and the lack of love, can we rejoice?

Dear brothers and sisters, today the prophet Isaiah speaks to each one of us. He tells us in the name of the Lord:be strong, fear not. Here is your God: it is the revenge that is coming, the revenge of God. He comes himself and he will save you“. Indeed, the prophet is convinced that God can no longer accept the pains and sorrows of his people in exile. This is why he wants to free him, raise him up. The vengeance of the Lord is therefore the promise of our salvation.

This is why in the second reading, Saint James invites us to patience: “brothers, while waiting for the coming of the Lord, be patient“. He takes the example of the farmer to invite us to joyful and blissful expectation. So we should not expect peace, joy, reconciliation, happiness in our life and in our relationships with a sad look or an unforgiving heart. Despite our difficulties, we are called to cultivate patience, love, good fraternal relations. It is true that often we run out of steam. But always ask for the grace of endurance in our Christian life.

It also happens to us that, overwhelmed by our difficulties, we doubt the graces of the Lord. Suffering often makes us closed to all peace and joy as if we were created to suffer. Nope! Dear brothers and sisters, we are created to be happy. And we must be attentive to the sign that the Lord gives us every day. In this Sunday’s Gospel, when the disciples of John the Baptist asked Jesus:are you the one to come, or do we have to wait for anotherhe answered them:go and tell John what you hear and see“. Dear brothers and sisters, what do you hear and what do you see in your life today? Jesus’ response calls us to an examination of conscience to see what the Lord is doing in our lives. However, even today, we will not be able to stop saying to Jesus:in Bethlehem, the heavens sang that the best of your blessings was the gift of your Peace. The world disdains her: everywhere hearts are divided! What happens to your reign“. Oh Son of God, do not delay; through your body, give joy to our world and to our distraught hearts. Come, Divine Messiah, give us hope and save us! you are our life; come, come, come!

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Meditation for the Third Sunday of Advent, A: Rejoice – Vatican News

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