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3rd Sunday of Advent, year B

*Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Advent,Year B. Readings: Isaiah 61:1-2a , 10-11; 1Thes 5:16-24; John 16:6-8, 19-28. Theme. : *. JOY : THE MARK OF THE CHRISTIAN * Beloved in Christ, today we celebrate a very special Sunday , with an obligation to rejoice, namely *Gaudete Sunday*. The Christian is a cheerful person but the joy of the Christian is not because he is rich or poor but because he has a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This morning the opening antiphon reminds us of the obligation to rejoice in the Lord always ( Gaudete in Domino semper ). This invitation is affirmed by the lighting of the 3rd Advent Candle as an expression of our joy in the coming of Jesus Christ , our Saviour. My dear friend, this joy is not to be confused with pleasure which is temporal but to be seen as resulting from the awareness of God’s loyalty. Also this joy is not dependent or determined by one’s life situation. An example is the story of the rich young man in Matthew 19:22, who though rich was not happy. We are therefore reminded that riches or wealth do not guarantee happiness, for it comes from one’s relationship with the Lord in which we discover the true meaning and purpose of life. We are thus warned not to go through life thinking that when we acquire wealth , we will also acquire happiness. Beloved, how then can I be happy or praise God in the face of life’s challenges? Well, although the challenges of life give us a hundred and one reasons to abandon the faith, the loyalty of God gives us the assurance that God will never betray us and that though the promises of God may delay they would certainly be fulfilled, hence we are not to give up. Beloved in Christ, it is this assurance of God’s loyalty that empowers us to witness to the world that the jubilee year has come and each person will recover his property ( Lev. 25:10). The time has indeed come for the poor to raise his head and regain his own dignity. And also to give courage and hope to those who are disappointed, to bind up the broken hearts, to bring good tidings to those who suffer, to proclaim liberty to the captives and to announce the year of the Lord’s favour. Let us therefore pray that the loyalty of God will always make us a cheerful people no matter the challenges and difficulties of life. www.padredolphyne.wordpress.com. www.facebook.com/padredolphyne

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