“Rejoice the Lord is Near” (Homily for Advent 3)

Fr. Joel Homilies

Advent3 – Rejoice the Lord is Near (5:50)

Advent, 3rd Sunday. [not recorded live]

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, Rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near (Phil 4:4-5)

These are the words of our entrance antiphon for today’s Mass. It’s “pink candle Sunday”, when we celebrate passing the half-way point of Advent. That means that Jesus is near us. Advent is a season for realizing our need for God. Unfortunately, most people don’t discover until after Christmas that you can’t make yourself happy and you can’t buy joy. Peace on earth and joy to the world are gifts. God is the one who gives them to me.

I’ve managed to stay joyful in the midst of a flood of funerals. I think it’s because I’ve been remembering  to pray. In fact, I even got one of the nicest compliments I have ever received. Someone said I acted “Christlike.” Every Christian should be told that. Have others seen Christ in you? Have you seen Christ in others? John the Baptist witnesses to Christ. We know when we see John the Baptist that Jesus can’t be too far behind. In the same way, if others see Jesus through us, He must be close by.

The bad news is that we can’t make ourselves happy. The good news is that God can. Rejoice! The Lord is near.

(11 Dec 2011)