Today’s Reflection: Introit for Advent 3
Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 32:1-20; Revelation 4:1-11

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. (Philippians 4:4-5)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Rejoice in the Lord! How could we not be happy? The Lord is coming! Christmas is almost here! Get the tree up! Clean and decorate the house up! Make everything ready! The Lord is near!

Light the pink candle! Tomorrow is Gaudete Sunday when we light the “rose” (pink) candle on the Advent Wreath. Gaudete is the Latin imperative, “Rejoice!” Rejoice, for Jesus has saved you! Rejoice, because your Lord is coming! Rejoice, because He is going to save you.

“Great, Jesus. Thanks a ton! Now with all the other stuff that I have going on, I have to be happy, too. ’Tis the season to put on a fake smile and act like I’m happy when I am lonely and dying inside.”

No! The Lord is not trying to burden you with yet another Law for you to crumble under. He knows you are hurting. The Lord knows how empty you often feel. He knows your tank is on empty, that you need a day off. The Lord knows how lonely you sometimes feel.

This is your rejoicing: Christ is coming. He will take on your flesh. He will live your life. He will die your death. He will suffer hell so that you will see only heaven. He will cry your tears and suffer your loss on the Cross. His death will destroy not only your death, but all death everywhere for all time. After three days, He will show you what will happen to you, your loved ones, your children, and all who are in the Faith of Jesus, He will rise. He will be the first fruits of all who fall asleep.

Your sins are forgiven in Christ. Every last sin that you have ever done, will do, and could do has been answered for by the One born of Mary. Your pain has been suffered for by the Son of God. Your emptiness is only filled by His mercy. Your tears are wiped away by God Himself on the Last Day. You can’t sad or grumpy your way out of heaven. He has taken it all upon Himself and it died with Him. You will rise to the joy of the resurrection from the dead and life everlasting.

There is no joy in staying in your sadness and sins. There’s only death and taking that grumpiness out on those around you. No joy there!

Find your joy in repentance this Advent season. Find your happiness in hope. Let your merriment be the forgiveness of sins. For Christ is coming and He is coming to save you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

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