Prima pagină > An Evangelical Message for Sunday > December 17, 2017, the Third Sunday of Advent, Year B, Dominica Gaudete

December 17, 2017, the Third Sunday of Advent, Year B, Dominica Gaudete

He was considered the most zealous disciple and everybody foresaw for him a future as a great master and saint. He made long prayers. He preached zealously and long time. He was able to advise everyone. He told everyone to be patient because God will answer their prayers. He really wanted to be great. He never missed an opportunity to seek the others advice, especially of the greatest. At his monastery came to visit one of the most famous monks of the time, known for his spiritual teachings. The zealous disciple went to ask for advice. With excitement and haste, he barged in monk’s cell, who just arrived, who wrote a letter. He greeted the monk and without many formalities explained what kind of advice he needs. Without even looking up from his writing desk, the monk said: Close the door carefully. Then he continued to work as the disciple would not have been there.

Today is the Dominica Gaudete, The Sunday of Joy. `You will rejoice in your inheritance`, we read in the prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 61.7a). `Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances`, Apostle Paul exhorts us (1 Thessalonians 5.16-18a). It is a message that we have been given and must make it known.

When? Where? Who? Today, in our world, those around us. How and what message must bring with us? Those around us already celebrated more than a month. No, somehow, we come too late with our message? What joy can we bring? It’s so much joy, so much noise, agitation; everyone wants everything good for everybody. All talk, all say something, and all convey something. What better could we bring?

The young priest prepared the sermon carefully to welcome the members of his community as it should on Dominica Gaudete. Respecting the rules of oratory, he began his sermon with a strong and repeated `rejoice`. An older parishioner, alarmed by the high tone of the priest wanted to help and calm the situation. `What is so bad vicar? We have to run? Does anyone need help?`

The noise around us, this continue cry of joy show joy? Please take a look. Stop to shut out. Let’s listen. We find that the high tone of the noise around us covers the low tone of a deep suffering. In this space we must bring joy, good news. We don’t need a presentation of all kind of sufferings. We just stay and listen and bring an answer for these sufferings. Those who suffer need an answer for they ask, for they expectation.

As Christians, we explain that we believe in Jesus Christ, prophesized and born between us. But how clearly can we answer to the simple ask: `Then who are you?` (John 1,21b). Then who are we? Ask our enemies, ask those who suffer, ask this humankind who celebrate without knowing what, who celebrate as being in a big desperation, not in a big joy.

I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” (John 1.23b). To bring a message of joy and prepare the way for the meeting with Jesus, we must stop a bit. To clean all this meaningless noise around us, to make a small desert that just to hear his message. To understand what is really important in our preparation for Christmas.

By listening, we can talk and bring true joy. Hearing, we will know how to prepare the way of Jesus to us and to others. Thus we find the voices, the souls that await him, his name, seeking to know him, to meet him. We will discover them in this world that both, us and others, live like in a wilderness without God.

Today we have received the message that Jesus is near, we have reason for joy, a real joy. Yes, he comes in this wilderness, in this world. The Old Testament’s people received the news when he reached total conviction that God left.

How many times we are heard that God is dead, he is no turning, and he does not care about us? Hear and even feel that so many people around us. Many no longer believe or reject him. Need we a larger wilderness, a deeper dessert in the people’s hearts?

The prophets have obeyed the voice of the Lord. John heard his message. It is the same message that we get ourselves and we are called to make him known: `Make straight the way for the Lord`, to our hearts, to others.

Today we are invited to rejoice. We have little time before Christmas. This invitation is as a warning: he is so close. Prepare to meet him! Help the others to meet him!

How? Abandon the senseless agitation joy. Listen and get ready. Certainly, each of us can discover where to work to pave the way of Jesus to himself and to those in need.

I want to conclude with a prayer that we should repeat every day until Christmas Eve:

Jesus, make me hear your steps closer to me; give me the sensitivity to hear the message and your call. Give me strength not to give up when it seems that I am not prepared enough to know that you’re coming with me, for each of us. Give me confidence that what I can’t do with my power will you do with your presence, here in our midst, where there’s so much need of you. Give me the true joy of your presence. Amen.

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