Third Sunday in Advent

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 3rd Sunday in Advent: CLICK HERE!

We all know that the Christmas shopping season seems to have gotten longer and longer over the years.  What may have been the four shopping weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas has become longer and longer.

It was only this week that I made the connection for such long a shopping season.  Seems the powers that be knew that the preparations for Christmas were meant to be forty days.  Now most of us don’t remember this, like we may remember the Latin Mass or fasting before midnight before receiving Communion.

These 40 days of Advent and the Advent Fast ended about 1200 years ago.  So there is something to REJOICE about this Gaudete Sunday.  (Besides the new pew cushions, be happy, be comfortable, the Homily will be no longer than 30 minutes)

In our own lives, we know that being joyful, rejoicing has its’ moments.  There are times in our lives when it is easy: the birth of a child, fulfilling work, feeling God’s love and care, being surrounded by family and friends.

And there are other times when the moments of joy are missing: the loss of a loved one, concerns about health, finances, a job, watching the news.

Yet the Church asks us to rejoice, be happy… didn’t Farrell have a song “Be Happy?”

Happy not because Christmas is 9 days away.  Happy because the Christ, the Lord, has come and will come again…

Happy because our God-Jesus is always with us in good times and bad.

But, as I have mentioned a few times in the past, it ain’t all about us or me.

John the Baptist today shares with the people of his day, and us, if you want to be happy, if you want to see God working in your life:

  • Share what you have especially with those with little or nothing.  And it is not just people in another part of the world.  It is right here in Clifton Park, the Capital District, the Diocese of Albany and beyond.  And you will not only be happy, but so will others…
  • Treat Others Fairly.  Justice is for all, not some.  Hope is for all, not some.  Respect is for all, not some.  And you will not only be happy, but so will others…
  • Be content with what you have… And you will not only be happy, but so will others…

In our Consumeristic world, we want more, because we think it will make us happy.  We want the latest, just so we can say we have it.  We want more, more and more and more, as people in our world, often don’t even have the basics.

Yes, Christ has come, Christ will come again…  But what can, what will, you and I do this week to bring Christ/God into the world…  To bring some joy into the life of another: a phone call, a visit, coffee out, a small gift, a plate of cookies…

May we as person, family and Parish continue to bring Christ into the world through our kindness to all people, especially those in need today and tomorrow, and throughout the year.

Just maybe Christmas songs like “Joy to the World, the Savior comes” will become more than notes and words on a sheet of paper we sing for a few weeks.