Happy Gaudete Sunday! The Third Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means “rejoice.” It is the first word of the Introit, or entrance antiphon, in the Mass. Today we light the pink candle on the Advent wreath. Rejoice! The Lord is near!
Today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 11 once again focuses on John the Baptist. In the second reading from James 5, St. James says, “Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.” John was the last of the great prophets – the one who would usher in the age of the Messiah. And, like many of the prophets before him, he lost his life for speaking God’s word.
You and I may never be called to give up our lives for our faith. But Jesus made it known that professing faith in Him would bring hardship into our lives. The prophets never gave up, never backed down. They stuck it out to the end. Will we do the same, regardless of any slings and arrows that come our way? I surely hope so…
Father, we thank you for the example of the prophets. Give us the same grace and strength as we exercise the prophetic ministry that you have called us to. Amen.