Be Patient and Keep Close To Our Source of Joy
Third Week of Advent: Dec. 11
Father John McNamara St. Catherine of Siena, West Dundee, and St. Mary, Gilberts Pastor
December 8, 2022
The readings and the prayers of the Mass for the Third Sunday of Advent have a particular theme of “rejoicing.” Gaudete Sunday invites us to rejoice, but what happens if you don’t feel like rejoicing? 
I would argue this is a real possibility for many who live in this valley of tears. As the first reading mentions, “Hands are feeble, knees are weak, and hearts are frightened.” Our psalm speaks of “the hungry, the blind, the bowed down, the fatherless, and the widow…” 
We could certainly think of these and a host of other things that dampen this Sunday’s call to rejoice. However, this Sunday’s liturgy offers us two aides to increased joy. 
First, be patient. St. James encourages us to “be patient until the coming of the Lord.” We all desire a life free from problems, but unfortunately, this is unrealistic. 
One of the saints wisely commented, “He who bears his suffering with patience for God’s sake, will soon arrive at high perfection.” Patience not only increases the capacity for joy, but it also helps a person advance in holiness. 
Secondly, keep near the Lord. “The Lord is near,” states the Gaudete Sunday entrance antiphon. The Lord is certainly near in our lives. He does not abandon us. “Here is your God, he comes with vindication, with divine recompense, he comes to save you.” 
My dear friends in Christ, when things get tough, and the feeling of joy is far from you … be patient, and remain close to our source of joy.
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