We have reached the third Sunday of Advent; Rejoicing Sunday. This title, in Latin “Gaudete”, is taken from the Introit of the Mass, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice. Indeed the Lord is near”. (Shades of Fr Bede…!) Yes, only a couple days after next Sunday we will be celebrating the birth of our Lord, or as the commercial world would have it, only eight more shopping days…!
Yes, we rejoice as we contemplate the nearness of Christ to us. It is one of the extraordinary things of our Catholic Christian faith that our God loved us so much that he wanted to be one with us. This occurs in no other religion in such a complete way; he is born, lives, loves and dies like us but then he rises. So the rejoicing we have is not just for the child Jesus in the crèche but also the prospect of our redemption through the death and rising of Christ.
I want also to rejoice in you for your patience and kindness over the last two weeks with the stewardship campaign. It is an intrusion on the life of the liturgy but a necessary one in which we commit ourselves to the gift of the Emmanuel, the God who comes to walk with us.
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter