Shout Out With Joy
The liturgical readings for the third Sunday of Advent leave no doubt that we are called to rejoice and to be filled with joy! Indeed, in the first reading, the prophet Zephaniah declares that we should shout out for joy, to sing joyfully and be glad with all our hearts! Isaiah, another Old Testament prophet, then calls us to be confident and unafraid and to proclaim that God is enough! We pray then together in hope the response: “Cry out with joy and gladness for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.” Way before the birth of Jesus, those prophets proclaimed JOY in our world.
In this liturgical season, we are waiting, preparing again, one more time, to celebrate the birth of Jesus who we believe fulfills that hope of salvation of victory over violence and death.
Thus in these days of Advent we have the opportunity to renew this hope and joy. With the prophets of the Old Testament we take heart in the expectation and experience of the Incarnation that although we are embedded in a wounded world, a world wounded by our own human decisions, through the power of God working within us we can make new actions toward peace.
Daily we see that bombs and guns are killing our brothers and sisters in every part of the world, in our neighborhoods, in our schools, and in our homes! We witness our Earth, our common home, abused by human choice causing fires, floods, and famine making refugees of those who are most poor. This is heartbreaking; cause for tears. Yet again and again the readings are clear on Gaudete Sunday in Advent that we should shout out with joy to be glad with all our hearts to believe that Jesus is coming, has come, and will show us the way to make peace possible.