This weekend we celebrate the Third Sunday of Advent which is also known as Gaudete Sunday or Rejoicing Sunday. This title is taken from the words of the entrance antiphon: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice! The Lord is near! ‘ (Philippians 4:4-5). This Antiphon sets the tone for the entire liturgy today: our readings are exuberant, confident, and filled with hope, joy and the promise of a new and better life. They point to the coming of Jesus our Saviour. No wonder the church for this one day sheds its penitential purple of Advent, donning instead rose-coloured garments.
For the next few days, let us recall in a prayerful manner the words of the Alleluia verse: ‘The spirit of the Lord has been given to me. He has sent me to bring good news to the poor’.
Fr Philip Sainter