Advent is rejoicing in God within us

SHARE THE TRUTH

 170 total views

Our liturgy bursts in colorful hues of pink this Third Sunday of Advent known as “Gaudete Sunday” or “Rejoice Sunday” following the calls of our readings to rejoice in God’s coming and nearness among us.

Brothers and sisters: Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again – rejoice!

Philippians 4:4

We rejoice because of a person. Always. Gadgets and material things can never bring joy to us; joy is something deeper, touching one’s heart and soul.

Joy brings assurance of presence and of love; hence, joy comes only from another person for what he or she brings or for what happens to him or to her. And too often, it can happen that we share in another’s joy.

Now, imagine if the joy is coming from the Second Person, Jesus Christ the Son of God – it is “joy to the max!” as young people would say these days. Jesus, the Emmanuel or God-with-us who had come more than 2000 years ago, who always comes to us, and who will come again in the end of time.

To rejoice in the Lord as St. Paul puts it in our second reading today means to be one with Christ who is the source of “every spiritual blessing in the heavens” (Eph.1:3) in whom “nothing can ever separate us from the love of God, not even death nor any creature” (Rom. 8:38-39).

And that is the essence of joy: the firm assurance that when worst comes to worst in life, there is always Jesus Christ remaining faithful to us when our chips are down, when we are alone and abandoned by family and friends, even in death.

Joy is a result of salvation, of being free in Jesus

Joy is when the heart and soul smile even when we are in the midst of suffering. It is unlike happiness expressed by laughter or smiles that depend on external factors that trigger happiness. Joy bursts from within us, something automatic because of a deeper feeling of right there in our heart, deep in our soul dwells Jesus Christ, assuring us we shall never be alone. That is why we can rejoice while in the midst of pains and sufferings, unlike happiness.

In the first reading we heard four imperative verbs that call us to rejoice, each evoking God’s coming to save his people which is fulfilled in Jesus Christ:

Photo by author, San Fernando, Pampanga, 18 November 2021.

Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has removed the judgment against you, he has turned away your enemies; the King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear.

Zephaniah 3:14-15

Here we find joy synonymous with salvation, with freedom.

The people of God at that time were in exile, feeling so low and so sad as they saw their plight as punishment for their sins.

Recall how when the angel announced to Mary the coming birth of Jesus, he told her to “Do not fear” (Lk.1:30) while Jesus himself told the same words – “Do not fear” – to the women at the tomb on Easter morning and later to his disciples (Mt. 28:10). Every time the disciples and the people were in danger and overcome with fear, Jesus always comes saying to everyone the same thing, “Do not be afraid…it is I”.

That is the most wondrous thing about joy – one experiences not only assurance of love and support, presence and security but one also becomes free specially from all sins and fears!

Such was the mood of the people when John the Baptist preached repentance and baptized people at Jordan. Even the most hopeless among them like sinners and marginalized people at that time felt joy within with John’s proclamation of the good news, of Jesus himself.

Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people.

Luke 3:15-18

Luke beautifully summarized the mission of John the Baptist by saying “he preached good news to the people” (Lk.3:18). This is the grace of the third Sunday of Advent: that the Lord is with us, that he had set us free from our sins and from all our fears. Let us go out of our toxic relationships and toxic mindset to claim this salvation in Christ!

Like John, let us experience Jesus in our selves, in our lives in order to bring hope and joy to others by proclaiming not only the coming but the very presence of Jesus Christ among us.

See how John told the crowds to live simply so that others may simply leave while at the same time, he never asked the tax collectors and soldiers to leave their jobs by them to be fair and just with everyone.

Photo by author, San Fernando, Pampanga, 18 November 2021.

So many times in life, we desire so many material things in life because of our wrong belief we can only be joyful in life with whatever money can buy that in the process, we miserably forget to love and care for the other persons, especially those nearest to us.

We sadly realize later in life that what truly prevent us from experiencing joy are these things like wealth and fame we have tried accumulating in our entire lives!

As we have said earlier, joy can only come from persons, not things. Those people in the gospel felt joy upon listening to John’s preaching and experiencing his baptism of water.

In our time, we are called to be another John the Baptist but this time to baptize people “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” as commanded by Jesus on his Ascension. Moreover, this third Sunday of Advent calls us to emulate John in telling people to be vigilant for the final judgment when Jesus comes again at the end of time which is NOW for “His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” These we do with our lives of witnessing to the gospel values of Christ seen in the joy we have in our lives.

How sad that even Pope Francis had noticed early in his pontificate how many of us Christians lack joy in our lives, in our attitudes and in our faces specially when celebrating the Holy Eucharist.

Joy is the mark of every true Christian who rejoices always in the salvation and freedom Jesus had brought us. Let us share the joy of life in Christ not only today but everyday for Jesus comes to us in every person filled with joy, free from sin and worries! Amen.

Have a joyful week ahead!

Photo by author, San Fernando, Pampanga, 18 November 2021.
Screenshot 2024-04-26 121114
ads
ads
2
3
4
previous arrow
next arrow

Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

Kamag-anak, Inc.

 65,519 total views

 65,519 total views Mga Kapanalig, kung magkakatotoo ang sinabi ni Vice President Sara Duterte sa isang ambush interview noong isang linggo, tatlong Duterte ang makikita natin sa balota sa pagkasenador sa eleksyon sa 2025.  Sila ay ang mag-aamang sina dating Pangulong Digong Duterte, Congressman Paolo Duterte ng unang distrito ng Davao, at Mayor Sebastian Duterte ng

Read More »

Diplomasya ang susi

 69,498 total views

 69,498 total views Mga Kapanalig, “misunderstanding” o aksidente lamang para sa Malacañang ang pinakahuling insidente ng komprontasyon sa Ayungin Shoal (o Second Thomas Shoal) sa pagitan ng Chinese Coast Guard at Philippine Navy. Sa naturang insidente na nangyari dalawang linggo bago matapos ang Hunyo, hinarang ng mga Chinese coast guard personnel ang mga bangka ng Philippine

Read More »

Educator sa DepEd

 80,390 total views

 80,390 total views Mga Kapanalig, habang isinusulat natin ang editoryal na ito, wala pa ring pinapangalanan ang administrasyong Marcos Jr na ipapalit na kalihim ng Department of Education (o DepEd). Nagulat ang marami nang mag-resign si Vice President Sara Duterte bilang DepEd secretary at opisyal ng isa pang opisina noong June 19. Sa sulat sa isinapubliko

Read More »

Heatwave at Malubhang Pagbaha sa Pilipinas

 92,832 total views

 92,832 total views Ang Pilipinas, bilang isang arkipelagong bansa, ay madalas na nakakaranas ng iba’t ibang kalamidad na dulot ng pagbabago ng klima. Isa sa mga pangunahing suliranin na kinakaharap natin ngayon ay ang matinding init o heatwave. Ka-alternate naman nito, kapanalig, ay ang malawakang pagbaha naman sa iba-ibang parte ng ating bansa, kahit pa walang

Read More »

Hamon ng Climate Change

 103,593 total views

 103,593 total views Ang climate change o pagbabago ng klima ay biggest challenge ng mundo ngayon. Ang Pilipinas ang isa sa pinakabulnerable dito. Ang epekto nito ay lubhang nararamdaman at nagdudulot ng malaking pagbabago sa ating kalikasan, kabuhayan, at pang-araw-araw na buhay. Dahil arkipelago ang ating bayan, lubhang bulnerable ito sa pagtaas ng temperatura, pagbabago sa

Read More »

Watch Live

catholink
Shadow
truthshop
Shadow

Related Story

Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

The gift of communion

 2,978 total views

 2,978 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Wednesday, Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle, 03 July 2024 Ephesians 2:19-22 <*{{{{>< + ><}}}}*> John 20:24-29 From the the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas, dolr.org. Praise and glory to You, God our Father for your gift

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

When God speaks

 3,254 total views

 3,254 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Tuesday in the Thirteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 02 July 2024 Amos 3:1-8, 4:11-12 <‘[[[[>< + ><]]]]’> Matthew 8:23-27 Photo by author in San Juan, La Union, 25 July 2023. Your words are weighty and

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

How to fail in marriage

 3,255 total views

 3,255 total views Quiet Storm by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, 01 July 2024 Image from http://www.oodegr.com. Many people today see marriage in the human level, downplaying or outrightly refusing its supernatural dimension being a gift and a grace from God. What is most funny with them is how they also insist on giving weddings some semblance

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Jesus crossed seas & streets to lead us to the side of life, again & again…

 4,002 total views

 4,002 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B, 30 June 2024 Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24 ><}}}}*> 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15 ><}}}}*> Mark 5:21-43 August 20, 2021 frontpage photo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer at the height of COVID-19

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Gift of encouragement

 4,737 total views

 4,737 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Friday, Memorial of St. Irenaeus, Bishop & Martyr, 28 June 2024 2 Kings 25:1-12 <‘[[[[>< + ><]]]]’> Matthew 8:1-4 It is the end of another week of work and studies for most of us, God our loving

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Finding God where we are, not where we would want to be

 4,736 total views

 4,736 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Thursday, Memorial of St. Cyril, Bishop & Doctor of the Church, 27 June 2024 2 Kings 24:8-17 <*((((><< + >><))))*> Matthew 7:21-29 Photo by Ms. Analyn Dela Torre, March 2024. God our loving Father, help us find

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

God in our decadent period

 4,734 total views

 4,734 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Wednesday in the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 26 June 2024 2 Kings 22:8-1`3, 23:1-3 <*((((><< + >><))))*> Matthew 7:15-20 Photo by author, Sacred Heart Novitiate, Novaliches, QC, 20 March 2024. Keep us faithful to

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Getting married in time of pandemic

 4,734 total views

 4,734 total views Quiet Storm by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, 25 June 2024 Photo by Joseph Kettaneh on Pexels.com It’s been more than four years since the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic that threw many of us out of sync in life, especially those planning to get married during those critical years of 2020-2022. I had

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Expect the unexpected

 5,953 total views

 5,953 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Monday, Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist, 24 June 2024 Isaiah 49:1-6 ><}}}}*> Acts 13:22-26 ><}}}}*> Luke 1:57-66.80 Photo from Wikipedia, mosaic of Jesus with Mary and John the Baptist at the Hagia Sophia in

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Two gifts to pray for always

 5,952 total views

 5,952 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Friday, Memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious, 21 June 2024 2 Kings 11:1-4, 9-18, 20 ><]]]]’> + <‘[[[[>< Matthew 6:19-23 Photo by author, Sacred Heart Novitiate, Novaliches, QC, 20 March 2024. On this Friday, Lord Jesus Christ,

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Birthday & funeral

 5,952 total views

 5,952 total views Quiet Storm by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, 20 June 2024 Photo by author, 17 June 2024. As a priest for 26 years, I have been a frequent visitor to cemeteries to bless parishioners, friends and relatives who have died. It was more of duties and ministry for me as a priest except

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Understanding sin

 7,258 total views

 7,258 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Tuesday in the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, 18 June 2024 1 Kings 21:17-29 <‘[[[[><< + ><]]]]’> Matthew 5:43-48 Photo by author, Sacred Heart Novitiate, Novaliches, QC, 20 March 2024. God our merciful Father, grant

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Going the extra mile…

 7,351 total views

 7,351 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Monday in the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 17 June 2024 1 Kings 21:1-16 <*((((><< + >><))))*> Matthew 5:38-42 Photo by Dra. Mylene A. Santos, MD in Infanta, Quezon, April 2020. Your words today, O

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

“Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.”

 7,531 total views

 7,531 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B, 16 June 2024 Ezekiel 17:22-24 ><}}}}*> 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 ><}}}}*> Mark 4:26-34 Photo by author, Camp John Hay, Baguio City, 12 July 2023. While preparing this homily, I cannot resist

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Why are you here?

 7,668 total views

 7,668 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Friday in the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 14 June 2024 1 Kings 19:9, 11-16 <*((((>< + ><))))*> Matthew 5:27-32 Photo by Mr. Vigie Ongleo, Sagada, Mt. Province, 2014. O God, dear Father, how I

Read More »

Latest Blogs

Scroll to Top