The third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday, is celebrated with a rose candle on our Advent Wreath that symbolizes joy. The candle is known as the “Shepherd’s Candle” reminding us of the joy the world experienced at the coming birth of Jesus.
Jesus is near, Christmas is near – it is a time to rejoice. I love the music of this season, and my favorite hymn is O Come, O come Emmanuel. “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel, shall come to thee, O Israel!” As you sing this refrain, exchange Israel for your own name! Our Savior is coming to YOU!
“O Jesus, help us to be glad with the joy that you give us when we allow you to enter our life. Enter our lives anew and invite us to go out to the margins of life and proclaim the gospel with joy and courage! Help us discover true joy – the joy of making of our self a gift, of reciprocating the great gift that we have first received, without merit of our own.” ~Pope Francis, Opening our Hearts to God