Gaudete Sunday Calls Us to Rejoice, By Gayle Somers

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By Gayle Somers, Catholic Exchange, Dec. 10, 2021

Gayle Somers is a member of St. Thomas the Apostle parish in Phoenix and has been writing and leading parish Bible studies since 1996. …


“Rose” Sunday in Advent calls us to rejoice, even in a penitential season. Will our readings show us how?

Gospel (Read Lk 3:10-18)

Traditionally, Catholics observe the third Sunday of Advent as “rose” Sunday, or “Gaudete” Sunday, which is Latin for “rejoice.” This is a beautiful reminder that although our preparation for the coming of the Lord has directed our attention inward, calling us to be ready to face our sin in an active way, the reason for this self-examination is one that should bring us boundless joy. Our Gospel reading helps us begin to see this.

St. Luke tells us that John the Baptist’s preaching aroused a response in the crowds who came to hear him.  They understood he was calling them to a decision about how they lived their lives with God:  “What should we do?”  This is the same exact question that the crowds who heard St. Peter first preach the Gospel on the Day of Pentecost asked, too (see Acts 2:37).  John had a ready answer for them, and it is not, perhaps, the answer they might have expected.  He did not tell them to pray more, give more alms, or spend more time at the Temple.  No, his reply was not pious that way.  Those who wanted to be ready for the Messiah’s appearance were to look around them for people who were in need and do something about it. Anyone with food or clothing to spare should be willing to share with his needy neighbor. In other words, sacrificial love of neighbor was a good way to prepare to see God. ….