Third Sunday of Advent
Reading I: Isaiah 61:1-2a, 10-11
Responsorial Psalm: Luke 1:46-48, 49-50, 53-54
Reading II: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Gospel: John 1:6-8, 19-28
The Third Sunday of Advent is called “Gaudete Sunday,” which comes from the Latin word that means, “Rejoice.” We rejoice because Christmas is just around the corner and because the one foretold by John the Baptist has come into the world to save us from our sins. Christmas is a testimony of God’s love to us, making it a feast of joy and light. Jesus came down as a light in a world enveloped by darkness, carrying a message of forgiveness and peace. We began the Misa de Gallo which usually ends before dawn. It expresses that Jesus’ coming removes the fear of darkness, that His light can conquer all evil. It points to the Christmas event and hopefully prepares us to let Jesus’ message directs our lives toward peace.
In today’s Gospel, the evangelist John describes John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah as light and voice. The first description is that of light. Jesus is the light of the world and John is supposed to bear witness to this light by becoming a shining and glittering lamp. The second description is that of the voice. In John’s Gospel Jesus is presented as the Word and John is supposed to be voice of this Word. The Gospel highlights John’s faithfulness to his mission and his humility. He does not claim to be the Messiah nor Elijah nor the Prophet. He does not consider himself worthy even to untie the strap of the sandal of the Messiah. His role is only to prepare people for the Messiah by baptizing them with water. It is the Messiah who will baptize them with the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who will empower us to prepare for the Lord in the spirit of humility and service, with the purpose of bearing witness to the Messiah