This Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday, symbolized by the pink candle of the Advent wreath, is the celebration of our joy of realizing that Christmas is at hand. We rejoice at the promised gift of God’s presence among us, in the sacraments and in prayer, in our daily life and in the signs of the times,
Our reason for great rejoicing is Christ’s human presence in our midst which began on the first Christmas Day. We see and feel Christ’s presence in people whose lives reflect His love, mercy and forgiveness. Although harder to see and understand, God is also with us in pain and suffering.
Our readings today urge us to move forward as we rejoice in the signs of God’s presence in our midst. And we are called upon to live as a sign of Christ’s presence in our daily life in the midst of our difficulties and the challenges that we face in our journey of faith.
As we hasten towards Christmas, let us offer the gift of Christ’s presence to our loved ones as well as to those who need most our love. Let us be more generous with our gift-giving, knowing that we give on behalf of Him who gave up his life for our sake.
As Christmas approaches, let us re-learn to welcome Christ not only in our hearts but also in the lives of others, especially those who are struggling to gain their human dignity in the midst of poverty, sickness and need for love and comfort. The joy of Christmas is rooted in sharing Christ’s love and presence with others in community. The birth of the Emmanuel, which means God is with us, highlights the continuing presence of God in our world through the life we live as followers of Christ. May this season strengthen us in our witness to Christ’s presence in our midst.