3rd Week of Advent is Joyful!
By Jennifer Brown, Contributing writer
Joy! Rejoice! Sing! This week, we experience the Third Sunday of Advent, traditionally known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is the Latin word meaning “rejoice.” This week we shift our Advent preparation. We see the color rose on the altar, rather than purple. We light the pink candle on our Advent wreaths. We transition our preparation from His second coming to the birth of Jesus. This particular Sunday is a joyful reminder that our salvation is near.
O salutaris Hostia…Quae caeli pandis ostium;
Bella premunt hostilia,…Da robur, fer auxillium.
Uni trinoque Domino…Sit sempiterna gloria,
Qui vitam sine termino…Nobis donet in patria. Amen.
This is the exposition hymn for Eucharistic Adoration. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) explains Eucharistic Adoration as, “an extension of the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament which occurs in every Mass. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament…serves to deepen our hunger for Communion with Christ and the rest of the Church.” The Eucharist is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, and we are given the opportunity to be with Him during Eucharistic Adoration.
Eucharistic Adoration is another opportunity to encounter Jesus in the Eucharist outside of the Mass. Sitting in Eucharistic Adoration, gazing at the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the golden monstrance displayed on the altar brings a sense of peace to our world of unrest. In Eucharistic Adoration, we spend time adoring the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Saint Augustine of Hippo is credited with saying, “The one who sings prays twice.” Sung prayer reminds us of the choirs of Heaven. When we sing, we experience Jesus’s presence in a new way. What better way to rejoice in the Lord than through song! In this week’s first reading, it says “Then the tongue of the mute will sing” (Isaiah 35:6). We are not called to be silent, but to sing God’s praises, especially during this time of Advent as we prepare for the birth of Jesus.
We hear in our second reading, “Be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord” (James 5:7). So many have endured years of frustration, hurt, and silence. I, myself, have gone through trials leaving me feeling broken and alone. The beauty of Jesus is His desire to heal, renew, and unify all of us through His Real Presence in the Eucharist.
During this National Eucharistic Revival, we are reminded that Jesus is more powerful than any storm. Jesus is truly present in our lives. We are invited to be united to Him through the Holy Eucharist.
As we prepare for His birth during this season of Advent, rejoice! Continue to decorate your home, set up your nativity, and sing your favorite Christmas carol or hymn!
“Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; they will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.”
Editor’s note: Jennifer Brown is Program Coordinator in the Family/Respect Life Office and is youth minister at Divine Mercy Parish in Central Square.