THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT


Perhaps you’ve been wondering…….
As early as the fifth century the season of Advent originated as a fast of forty days in preparation for Christmas, commencing on the day after the feast of St. Martin (11 November),. In the ninth century, the duration of Advent was reduced to four weeks, and Advent preserved most of the characteristics of a penitential season  which made it a kind of counterpart to Lent.
Today is known as Gaudete Sunday. The term Gaudete refers to the first word of the Entrance Antiphon, "Rejoice". Rose vestments are worn to emphasize our joy that Christmas is near, and we also light the rose candle on our Advent wreath. Gaudete Sunday provides a similar break about midway through a season which is otherwise of a penitential character, and signifies the nearness of the Lord's coming.
"Rejoice: the Lord is near." As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Savior means for us. The great joy of Christians is to see the day drawing near  when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead them into His kingdom. The often-repeated Veni ("Come") of Advent is an echo not only of the prophets but also of the conclusion of the Apocalypse of St. John: "Come, Lord Jesus," the last words of the New Testament.