Happy Third Sunday of Advent.
It seems to me like I've had this conversation multiple times in the past week about WHY this is 'rejoice Sunday' or why we light the pink candle...but I can't complain for the opportunity to say to someone that it's all about being happy. It's that joyous expectation that something wonderful is going to happen soon...but we still have to wait for it...
That must be how a couple feels as they await the arrival of their first baby...I know grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends go crazy waiting for that first baby! Such joyous anticipation. Such happiness. God is so good to give us these moments of great joy!
It is way too easy to see December with all it's commercialism as a time of stress and anxiety. I am grateful to God that for some unknown reason, so far, deep down, I feel pretty peaceful about life. I know there is a lot to do, I know we're trying to make the season prayerful for others...and I may lose my cool with the ones I love, but mostly, I think I feel pretty calm. I am looking forward to time to celebrate the love of family and friends. I am excited about the beauty of the liturgies we will celebrate together as a parish family. I am grateful for the abiding trust in the God that cares for us even in the midst of a scared, crazy world.
One of our students this week asked a really great question: If they thought that John the Baptist was the Messiah, how come they didn't listen to or believe him when he pointed toward Jesus and told them that HE was the Messiah? What a really good question!! If the guy you thought was the Messiah told you straight up, "Nah, it's not me, it's HIM!" Why wouldn't you believe him?
I don't know. Maybe because they had a preconceived image of what the Messiah should look like...(really, John covered in camels hair was their image?) and since a poor carpenter from Nazareth didn't fit their image, they weren't interested. What a shame. They missed what was right in front of their faces because they couldn't open their eyes or mind or hearts to see the truth!
Perhaps as we move into the third week of Lent, this reminder of the joy in life, we might ask for the grace to find the moments to be happy in the midst of all our Christmas preparations. Maybe we can go a little slower, breathe a little deeper and hold close to our hearts a few of the little tiny thing that cause us to remember that God is with us, that God loves us, that God holds us close with abiding care.
So light that pink candle on the advent wreath and hum that song of rejoicing. God is truly with us, in our world, and that is something to celebrate.