Our Lady's Garden
A Blessed Advent to You!
As we prepare for the coming of our Lord, we seek to prepare our hearts
and make room for Him in our lives.
The Third Sunday of Advent
Sunday we light the third candle, the pink one.
This candle signifies it is Gaudete Sunday,
The candle of Rejoicing.
As we quiet the noise of the world,
let us light the candle in our hearts and rejoice.
"Let me look that up."
Why don’t we light the pink candle last? Why is there a pink candle? My response to the children’s question every year is the same, “ Just a minute, let me look it up.”
I hate to admit it but I can never remember the answer. This year was no different and as children were excited to light this beautiful pink candle, my response was the same. I thought I would spend a little time on the subject and share it with you.
The pink candle celebrates Gaudete Sunday and its message is “Rejoice!” The tradition of the Church is that advent should be a time of intense spiritual preparation for the Feast of Christ’s Birth. Advent through the lens of tradition is more similar to Lent, a time of prayer and fasting. In our world, the celebration of Christmas begins the midnight of Thanksgiving and is marked with intense buying, stress, and baking.
We can look to the pink candle of the week and remind ourselves that it is time to rejoice, not because the work is almost finished, shipping time has run out, or it is time for the office Christmas party. It is time to rejoice because Our Lord, Jesus’ birth is almost here. Maybe I understand better why I always have to look up Gaudete Sunday, I am not participating well in the preparation time known as Advent.
The Good News - we still have time! It is time to settle our hearts. We can grow much in the time we have left, 10 days. In that time, we can truly appreciate the gift of Jesus. Immanuel, God who is with us! Yes, time has run out, or soon will, for all the details and jobs on our “To Do” lists; however, we do have something to do. We need to prepare! We need to prepare our hearts and minds to receive the gift of Jesus! Mary received Jesus in the greatest humility bearing Him as she did and laying Him in a manger. Our secular goals are different. We seek to offer our guests and ourselves: great food, a beautifully decorated house, and one that is immaculate. That is not the point! Let us gain release from the emptiness of this vain expectation, the distraction that comes from “one more thing to do”, the pain of excess, and Rejoice!
Rejoice in the beauty of God’s Plan for Salvation!
Rejoice in the desire of God to reconcile us to Himself!
Rejoice in the Divinity and Humanity of Jesus!
Rejoice in the Blessed Sacrifice of Jesus!
Rejoice in the Gift of the Immaculate Conception!
Rejoice in His gift of Mary as Our Mother!
Rejoice in the great gift of His Church!
Rejoice in the goodness of God!
Rejoice in our freedom to Worship and Celebrate Him!
Rejoice in the generosity of God!
Rejoice in the gift of our families!
Rejoice in the joy of friends!
Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice!