Third Advent Sunday in year B

Posté par diaconos le 9 décembre 2020

Homily Sermon Third Sunday of Advent Year B

                                              In your midst stands the one you don’t know

# Gaudete is the first Latin term for the introït of the third Sunday of Advent. This word, meaning Rejoice (imperative, second person plural), stands out because of a particular feature of this Sunday in the Advent period. It gave rise to numerous works. The word corresponds to the term Laetare on the Fourth Sunday of Lent with the same meaning and function. As a break in the middle of Advent, this Sunday differs from its joyful characteristic. It is a partial anticipation of Christmas. For this reason, on the one hand, pink instead of purple clothes and ornaments are used, exceptionally before the Nativity. On the other hand, it is advisable that during the celebration the organ is played with the joyful pieces. Since the Middle Ages, Gaudete’s song has been so popular that it has often been performed in choir instead of the original monodic version of the Gregorian introit. The latter’s melody has been used in several parody masses. Among them, that of Josquin des Prés has been falsely attributed to Johannes Ockeghem. But its publication in Venice in 1502 has been confirmed.

# The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is a biblical term that sums up nine attributes of a person or community living in accord with the Holy Spirit, according to chapter 5 of the Epistle to the Galatians: « But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. » Some sources in Traditionalist Catholicism follow the Vulgate version of Galatians in listing twelve fruits: charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity (kindness), goodness, longanimity (forbearance), mildness (gentleness), faith, modesty, continency (self-control), and chastity. This tradition was defended by Thomas Aquinas Though out discussed as nine attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit, the original Greek term translated as « fruit » is singular. Aquinas explained, « Consequently fruit is mentioned there in the singular, on account of its being generically one, though divided into many species which are spoken of as so many fruits. » Augustine’s commentary on Galatians 5:25-26 says, « the Apostle had no intention of teaching us how many [either works of the flesh, or fruits of the Spirit] there are; but to show how the former should be avoided, and the latter sought after. »


 The joy is when a father lifts his child up in his arms and holds him close to him, when the two laugh out loud and their eyes shine brightly into each other. Joy is when the bride rests tenderly in her fiancé’s arms, in silence and love ; it is also when the children come back from school and, while enjoying a slice of bread and a glass of milk, confidently tell their mother about their day, who listens to them with love.

Joy is when, after experiencing great anguish, we suddenly find peace for a new beginning. Joy is when our heart, tired of sadness and pain, finds consolation and comfort from people we love and who love us. And joy again, when we give a gift to a child or someone poorer than us and see their eyes shine.  How good it is to live such moments !

If there is the joy of humans, there is also the joy of God himself. God, who sends us his Son to save us.  The joy of God is to accompany us on all our paths, whether happy or unhappy, good or bad, and to never abandon us. God’s joy is to welcome us into his home at all times and even more so when we come back from far away, from so far away sometimes that we have almost forgotten him.

Christian joy rests mainly on our faith in our God who loves us and saves us at every moment. Christian joy is knowing that God dwells in the depths of our heart and that we can talk to him where we want, when we want, about what we want…; Christian joy is discovering Jesus in every person, even the worst : « In your midst stands He whom you do not know » ( Jn 1, 26b).

Lord, help us to recognise you where you are hiding. Help us, Lord, not to miss your hidden presence. If you discover the hidden Jesus, always present, you will have discovered a source of joy that no one, or anything, will be able to take away from you. Dare to express our joy at Christ’s presence among men today. Dare to look for simple words that will express our joy, our faith, to those around us. Words that come from the heart.

In the second reading, the apostle Paul invites us to calm and joy in every occasion and to help us, he suggests some useful and necessary attitudes: to be happy, to pray with constancy, to give thanks, to be attentive to always choose what is good and to avoid temptations. The Lord continues to love us and, if he finds us in these attitudes, he will be able to sanctify us completely, he will be able to fill us with the life of his Holy Spirit. Then we too will be able to say with Jesus : « The Spirit of the Lord is upon me… he has sent me to bring the good news to the poor!  « Is (61,1)

Let us share today the joy of the Lord’s poor and may the God of hope give you joy and peace in faith . (Rom 15:13) Let us go out to meet the other and open our eyes to his light: for there is someone among us whom you do not know. Who is this person?

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian sites on the Internet

◊  Father Hanly : click here to read the paper → Homily for 3rd Sunday of AdventYear B
◊  Archdiocese of Edinburgh : click here to read the paper →  Third Sunday of Advent Year B

Lee on the Lectionary: 3rd Sunday of Advent (Year B)

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