Tag Archives: Third Sunday of Advent

Third Sunday of Advent

To watch Father Joe’s homily for the  Third Sunday of Advent: CLICK HERE


This Third Sunday of Advent, is as we know, also referred to as:  Gaudete Sunday.     Gaudete meaning, “Rejoice.”

Even amid our personal and worldly concerns, we are reminded there is much to rejoice in and about.  A  God who blesses not only people like Mary, but a God who has blessed his people from generation to generation.

 As St. Paul encourages, “Rejoice always.”

Tomorrow is the Feast of the Expectation of Mary.  That was the name of our Parish before it became St. Mary’s.  As a matter of fact, in 2018, just a few days away, we will begin a year long celebration for the 150th Anniversary of St. Mary’s.  150 years of the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ lived by oh, so many people for the past 150 years.

As we begin this year long celebration, we will begin in prayer.  A prayer for our Parish that all Parishioners will be receiving on or about January 1, 2018 in the mail.

Today on the news, I heard a story of a man who was sending $10 in the mail to a lot of different people.  He was asking them in his note to “pay it forward.”  In a sense he was asking them to initiate a moment or more of time to see the joy passed on to another or others.

We sing at this time of the year, Joy to the World.  Yet we know there could be more joy in our world.

As we have been checking off our holiday list of things to do or buy, have we notice the people who are touching our lives with joy?  Have we noticed those who are touching our lives with a smile,  a more upbeat interaction, a happy holidays or Merry Christmas?

Who might be the people that will experience a bit more or a lot more joy today because of our taking the initiative to say hello, or to smile, or even to look at another person – without having our head down looking at our cellphones.

And you know there is an interesting thing that happens when we reach out to others in joy…  We feel better, we feel more joy.

So my friends, this Sunday, this week and into the New Year, let us rejoice always!!!

Third Sunday of Advent

We hear St. Paul today reminding the people of Philippi and each of us, Disciples of the Lord, to, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I say it again, rejoice!”

Why rejoice?  What are we rejoicing about?  The fact that the source for our redemption is near.  The source of course is Jesus.   Whose birth we celebrate in 12 days.  And that, in fact, is part of the Gospel Message today.

Salvation is more attainable than people realize.

And very much like ourselves, the people ask, “What should we do?”  And John the Baptist answer is simple, direct and clear.  He did not say, as Jesus later would, “sell everything, give to the poor, and follow Him.”  Rather, John says: care for others… give away your second coat… share your food… stop cheating people… be generous… be fair… be honorable… exercise your heart for the good of others.

“What should we do?”   We all know the answer.  Do the right thing!

There is a story told of a Hebrew scholar, Hillel, who lived 50 years before Christ.  Someone once asked him to sum up the Jewish teaching in just a phrase.  He replied, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man.  This is the whole Torah.  The rest is commentary [explanation].  Now go and learn.”

In the end it comes down to choices.  We make them every day.  The doctor says your cholesterol is a bit high.    He suggests you exercise a bit more.   Take the stairs more, the elevator less.    And when given the choice… what do we choose?  The elevator, of course.

And probably more than we care to admit, it is often that way in making more important changes in our lives, the kind that John the Baptist is asking.  But John makes it clear it does not have to be that way.  Start small…  Make the effort…  Exercise your heart….  Take the stairs…

Make the choices that will make you ready to welcome Jesus, not just at Christmas…  But the choices that make us ready to welcome Jesus every day in family, friends, foes… in the needy and poor… in the people of this moment and every moment of your day, our day.

By the way… John never used the word, but if asked what should we do today, he might say, live the Corporal Works of Mercy?  Know what they are?  If not just look at the front cover of today’s Bulletin.  Easy to read and memorize but living them may need some effort on the part of all of us.

But when we do… when we try and try and try… we not only do the right thing, but we become more and more ready to welcome the Lord into our lives now and in the future.