The Catholic Church celebrates two “joyful” Sundays: today, the third Sunday of Advent or Guadete, Latin for “rejoice” and the fourth Sunday of Lent or Laetare, also Latin for “rejoice.” Today’s readings are truly filled with joy reminding us that religion does not always have to be somber in fact the NAB uses the word joy, 219 times while words to describe sadness or somber are used only 24 times.
So as we continue to wait for the Nativity of Our Lord, “Shout with joy…be glad and exult with all your heart.” (Zephaniah 3:14) “Rejoice...The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:4-5) And be wary not to be mislead, but always to follow the right lead as we are reminded by John the Baptist in today's Gospel, who always points us to Christ.
First Reading Book of the Prophet Zephaniah 3:14-18
Responsorial Psalm cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy one of Israel
Second Reading Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians 4:4-7