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Advent’s Time to REJOICE

Gaudete Sunday is the third Sunday in Advent, the liturgical season leading up to Christmas. Advent is also the first 4 weeks that begin a new liturgical year. Advent is the season when we both prepare for and await the coming of Christ—both in this season, celebrating His first coming, the birth of Christ, and also anticipating His second coming. This year we celebrate Gaudete Sunday on December 16th, 2018.

Like Lent, the weeks in Advent represent a penitential season—a time of prayer and fasting. Originally, the season of Advent was 40 days long—just as our Lenten penitential season. During the ninth century, that was changed to the familiar four weeks.

During mass on three of the Sundays in Advent, the celebrant wears purple. Correspondingly, we use the three purple candles on our advent wreaths, both at home and in church.

Then, on Gaudete Sunday, we shift the focus to “rejoicing”—which is what “gaudete” means. On the altar we can find joy represented in flowers, and the priestly garb is in the color “rose”, rather than the more solemn “purple”.

The joy and gladness is a celebration of the fact that, not only is the Lord [eventually] coming (both at “Christmas”, and in the second coming of Christ), but that the time is near, and He is “close at hand”.


As the Gospel indicates through John the Baptist, His coming is near; He is even now in our midst. We are exhorted to “Rejoice in the Lord always. I say it again: Rejoice!” (Phillipians 4:4).

The Lord is near—dwelling within our hearts as we invite Him in; dwelling within our midst in our communities that love and honor His kingdom come; and seasonally reminding us that the “babe” who humbled Himself to be born in a manger will “soon” come again... for His watchful, waiting bride.

Now we continue to watch and pray for His coming "again"—beyond this Christmas. His people waited for centuries the first time when Jesus was born in a stable. It was approximately four hundred years (from the last time the Lord spoke through His Israelite prophets regarding Christ's coming and birth) until God sent an angel to speak to--not another prophet, but----- a young woman. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and her “Yes”, the true and living Word became flesh and willingly came to earth to live and die among us. 

Notably, God’s first contact after all those years was not at the temple, and not with the community of religious leaders... It was with a humble young woman named “Mary”, in Nazareth. In her He found a listening ear and an obedient heart. We know that her response to the angel Gabriel: "Be it done unto me according to Your word..." answered God's call for (God Himself) the Son of God to make His meek and quiet entrance into our world.

We find out in scripture that His people were not expecting a baby—"God", the Son of God—born unobtrusively in a stable in a small town… the town of Bethlehem. They were expecting more kingly splendor or political power demonstrated against their enemies.

Our most humble and gracious God--so willing to do whatever it takes to enter our failing, fallen and confused world to save and deliver us—chose the messy surroundings of a crowded stable, to be born among animals and strangers. His death would later be in even more extremely "messy" and unpleasant circumstances—this time handed over to enemies and  strangers.

We hope and pray that this next time, when Jesus comes again (in all His glory)—no matter how long or short the time is—that we, His people, look more to Him and keep a listening ear to the Holy Spirit. We pray that we can surrender our own intellectual assumptions and presumptions... (for God has said continually in scripture to "ask for wisdom", and that His "thoughts and ways" are "higher than our[s]").

We pray that this last and glorious time—His second coming—we are ready and willing, loving Him and others, watchful and laboring in His name ...glad to receive Him. And we pray that all we are and that all we do is for His glory.

This blog is taken from one posted by Kathy Boh on trinitychurchsupply.com/blog on December

15th, 2017.

CHECK OUT THE REST OF OUR BLOGS FOR THE CHRISTMAS SEASON (posted on this website, trinitychurchsupply.com/blog)

~~JOY ON GAUDETE SUNDAY (above article), posted December 14, 2018

~~ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS, posted December 11th, 2018


~~ST NICHOLAS, THE ORIGINAL AND REAL SANTA, Part I of our series, posted on December 6th, 2018


and the upcoming Part III of our series:


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