“Rejoice always!”

It is the third Sunday of Advent and the Church asks us to rejoice and be grateful as the time of our celebrating the coming of the Christ draws nearer. The third Sunday of Advent is referred to as Gaudete Sunday.

Gaudete in Latin means Rejoice! We light the rose-colored candle on the Advent wreath and the priest may wear rose-colored vestments if he has them.

Today’s Gospel is about John’s being the “witness” and not the Christ. We hear in today’s reading explicit statements that Jesus, and not John, is the one sent. Our faith allows us to have a great feeling of joy, not merely that Jesus is the promised Messiah sent to us, but continues being commissioned to be our Savior.

Advent is really a great advertising season. New toys, clothes, appliances are displayed in windows, on TV, and the internet. “Coming soon!” The liturgy, too, is an advertisement of four weeks that invite us to see if we really need, or know that we need: the Christ sent to us.

Commercials have to show us that we have a need for this deodorant or that snow blower or that swell new sporty car. People in the southern climates might need more of the former and nothing of the latter. I do need the car! (NOT!) Advertisers have to make us feel the need and then present us with the salvation of that need. We might not know we need a new mouse trap until the TV person convinces us that the whole house is full of the little creepy-creatures.

What is the basic advertisement of this-day’s liturgy, is that we are glad that the Lord God, “has clothed me with the robe of salvation and wrapped me in a mantle of justice…” God continues sending us a Messenger and messages in our lives which, like fliers stuck in our mailboxes, are not necessarily invited or wanted, but do tell us the truth of our dependence.

We rejoice today that the Advertiser of our salvation never tires of presenting His saving product: His grace and love.

Today we are asked to buy it and live it “Always.”