THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT
1 Thessalonians 5:16–24
One of the most difficult lines in Scripture to hear, especially when you’re not really in the mood for it, is Saint Paul’s instruction to the Thessalonians, “Rejoice always” (1 Thes 5:16). Does he really mean always? As in always always? Yes, yes, he does. In fact, one of the most noteworthy aspects of the New Testament is its consistent emphasis on joy. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians is a great example. It prominently features this theme throughout. Acts of the Apostles is another great example, a book that repeatedly testifies to the joy the apostles had even in the midst of trials and suffering. What, then, is the cause of such otherworldly joy? It can only be Christ, he who is joy himself, come down to us.
Lord Jesus, fill my heart with your joy, the true joy that surpasses all understanding. Grant me the grace to share it with those around me. May your joy be my strength in every adversity I face. Amen.
Host a gathering of friends or family for Gaudete Sunday! Decorate your home with rose flowers or other appointments for the occasion.