The third week of advent represents Joy also known as “Gaudete” in latin meaning “rejoice” and the vestments worn at mass are rose colored. Priests wear pink vestments as a reminder of this coming joy. Rose, is also used during Laetare Sunday (the fourth Sunday of lent) to symbolize a similar expectation of the coming joy of Christ’s coming in Easter. Wonderful, but the truth of the matter is that most of us (not all of us), but most, don’t feel very joyful during this third week of Advent. We look and feel more like this,
Photo credit Jamilia Jean Photography http://www.jamiliajean.com/?tag=joy
Many people about now, are feeling the pressures of the Season. They are stressing to decorate, bake, and shop for that perfect present that does not exist. They are stressing about spending money they don’t have. They are worrying about spending time with family that upset them. They are having anxiety over socializing with people they don’t really like at the company holiday party. They are depressed from the letdown of Christmas not being what it was for them as a child and others are sad to spend Christmas grieving the loss of their loved ones. I could go on, but I think you get my point and it’s not pretty, but it is real.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we try to live our lives by the world’s standards? Why do we try to please others and lose ourselves and our desires in the process? When we do this, we make it worse, and we distance ourselves from what the true meaning of Christmas is. Let me remind you as I remind myself about the miracle of an angel appearing to an innocent child. Mary, said, “yes” to the incarnation of God.
Mary faced her fears of what this would mean and how this would change her life and the world forever. She learned to trust God while she prepared for the birth of our Savior, “Jesus.” The one who taught us how to be like God and who opened the door to heaven to us. This beautiful child truly human and truly Divine came to life to give us everlasting life.
It’s about a baby! A baby unwanted by most and needed by all. This Advent, let us put down our pride, our tasks, our past hurts and sit in silence and awe in the light of the one to come. With anticipation and excitement allow this birth to transform us into who we were meant to be, not who the world said we should be. John the Baptist proclaimed in today’s Gospel (John 1 19-28)
‘make straight the way of the Lord,’”
as Isaiah the prophet said.”
Some Pharisees were also sent.
They asked him,
“Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John answered them,
“I baptize with water;
but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,
where John was baptizing.