Homily for 3rd Sunday of Advent Year C
Here we are, the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, a Sunday of Joy.
What do we have to be joyful about? How do we become joyous?
I realize that we are still in deep economic problems. Many of us have been working on and off, or are having trouble finding work that will sustain us and our family. I have many friends who have not been able to find work for over a year, I know it is tough. Many in this community have been struggling just to get by.
Let me reassure you, tough times don’t last forever. Even when it looks like everything will fall, God calls us to rejoice. The Prophet Zephaniah calls on the people to rejoice because of their deliverance from their enemies. They are also called to rejoice because God is in their midst as King and Savior. They realized that they were the children of God, his chosen people.
I call on you to rejoice today, because God is in our midst, as King and Savior too!
St. Paul tells us to rejoice always! In fact, he wants to make the point, so he tells us TWICE! REJOICE!!
So how do we rejoice? John the Baptist tells us to do what God has called us to do.
He calls us to share our abundance with others, even if that abundance is only extra food that we might have. To treat others with the respect they deserve as children of God, making all of us brothers and sisters. To love each other, starting with our own families. There is so much individualism in our world today, especially here in the U.S. We are told by every side of society that I am the most important person, that I need to have these things in order to be happy. But this is not what God calls us to be.
We are called to be the people God has made us to be. In other words, Be Who You Are.
Know who you are, and what your role is in this world. If you are a teacher, be the best teacher you can be, treat students fairly and with respect. If you are an employer, treat your employees fairly and with respect. If you happen to be a supervisor or manager, don’t oppress those whom you have authority over. If you are a worker, do your job with joy, knowing that it is God who will ultimately reward you.
When we realize that God is truly in our midst, we have no fear or need to deny our own limitations or boundaries that define our lives. We realize that our identities are rooted in being children of God, we have no trouble admitting that there are those who are before us, or beyond us. By the grace of God, we are who we are. Perhaps we need to be saved from our misunderstand of who we think we are, thinking we are more than who we really are, trying to impress those around us with a false image of who we think we are.
Advent is a time to strip all of that pretense away, and stand honestly and humbly before our God, eager for redemption. I invite you to stand humbly and honestly before God…..and REJOICE!