3rd Week of Advent
By Regina Siegfried, ASC
O God, who sees how your people
faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s nativity,
enable us, we pray,
to attain the joys of so great a salvation
and to celebrate them always
with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever.
Joys, celebrate, glad rejoicing, glad tidings — all words gleaned from the opening prayer and first reading for this third Sunday of Advent, once called Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday. “Attaining the joys of so great a salvation” is already in process. Contemplate the lyrical, consoling, and jubilant message in the reading from the prophet Isaiah. “Bringing glad tidings to the poor” is one way to “attain the joys of the salvation” promised and realized in the person of Jesus the Christ.
John the Baptist, God’s preacher, prophet, and messenger, testifies to the light who is Christ in his iconic portrait from the selection taken from the Gospel of John. How do we recognize the One John heralds? How do we ensure that “justice and praise will spring up before all the nations.” The great joy and work of salvation is here among us today. We are “glad tidings to the poor” and the living justice and praise that Isaiah celebrates.
John walks out of the dusty clouds of the desert to preach the necessity of a clear focus needed to recognize God hidden in plain sight. Like John the Baptist, our message is not about us but about the God who cares for the least among us. What happens during this new week can occur only because we believe we announce the good news of Someone greater than ourselves.
• What “glad tidings” does my presence bring to others?
• How do I recognize God in my life?