Rejoice, Pray & Give Thanks

3rd Sunday of Advent (B)

The 3rd Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is the Latin word for “rejoice.” It’s the first word of the Entrance Chant for this Sunday’s Mass, “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil 4:4).

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, which we read from at Mass this Sunday, St. Paul lists three things Christians should always do – rejoice, pray and give thanks. In this week’s reflection I talk about why these things should be hallmarks of the Christian life.

Rejoice for the Lord is near at hand (Phil 4:5); not only in our commemoration of his birth at Christmas. He is near to us in the sacraments, in the scriptures, and in our love for one another, and in our hearts and minds any time we turn ourselves to him. To quote our first pope, St. Peter, “there is cause for rejoicing here” (1 Pt 1:6).