Third Sunday of Advent

December 11, 2022

Today we celebrate the Third Sunday of Advent. This is commonly known as “Gaudete Sunday.” In today’s entrance Antiphon we hear these words from St. Paul to the Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.” Gaudete means to rejoice. To show the nearness of the Lord’s coming (at Christmas), the purple of Advent is mingled with the white of Christmas to give us today’s color, “Rose!” We light the rose candle of the Advent wreath, and the altar paraments and vestments of the deacon and celebrant are rose. This Sunday marks a change in focus as we begin the O Antiphons that announce the titles of the Messiah. In today’s first reading for Gaudete Sunday the prophet Isaiah describes once more the things we will see when the Messiah comes to us; “the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing.” From our knowledge of Jesus in the Gospels, we know that He did all things. Our second reading from St. James reminds us to be patient, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. In fact we are just two weeks away from welcoming the Savior of the world at Christmas. Our Gospel today gives us another glimpse into John the Baptist. Now in prison, he sends his disciples to inquire if Jesus is truly the Christ. Jesus responds to the disciples by saying, “Go tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news preached to them.” John would have rejoiced with this news, as He was familiar with the prophecies of Isaiah announcing the Messiah. Jesus praises John as the messenger sent to prepare His way. As we continue our preparations for welcoming the Messiah into our hearts this Advent, let us rejoice that He is near.

Last Fall, during a routine colonoscopy, the doctor found a polyp that was cancerous. He believed it was encapsulated and its removal was good news. To be sure all is good I have been scheduled for surgery this coming Friday to remove a portion of the colon and check the lymph nodes to ensure the cancer hasn’t spread. I am optimistic that they got it all and I will not need any further treatment. That being said, I am going to be in the hospital next weekend and will be limited on activity for the next couple of weeks. There will be no Masses this coming Thursday or Friday, and no weekday Masses for the next two weeks. I am planning to celebrate the Christmas Masses, but have been advised to take it easy as much as possible. Visitors will be restricted to family only.  Also, your prayers are needed more than meals and treats.  While you’re at it – a few extra Hail Marys would be most appreciated.

Finally today, as All Things New proceeds forward, and we have had our parish listening sessions, please fill out the online survey with any comments you may have. Surveys need to be turned in by December 31st.

God Bless! Happy Advent!

Please continue praying 3 Hail Marys.

Fr. Pete