*HOMILY FOR THE 3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR A*
Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10
*THEME: THE LORD IS THE CAUSE OF OUR JOY*
Beloved in Christ, on this Sunday morning, Mother Church tells us to celebrate our joy and happiness in the Lord. This is symbolized by the lighting of the rose candle of the advent candles and the wearing of the rose vestment instead of the purple vestment.
In view of that this Sunday is called “Gaudate Sunday” – a theme derived from our opening antiphon, “Gaudate in Domino Semper” – rejoice in the Lord always.
Advent is therefore a time to smile over the wonders and blessings of the lord and His promises. A sad Christian is thus a contradiction in terms. However, this call to rejoice is not to be seen as the denial of pain and disappointment but that every experience has a meaning in the sight of God and his word. An affirmation that it is the presence of the Lord in our midst that will give us joy (cf John 16:22)
Beloved, for Anthony de Mello (in his book “Awareness”) we have everything we need to have here and now to be happy. The problem is that we identify our happiness with people and things we don’t have and often can’t have.
Therefore, Isaiah in our first reading says to the Jews in Babylon, be encouraged and don’t give up, for the Lord is going to transform you and change your lives. This is in line with James in the second reading who calls for patience and endurance by using only the example of how the farmer patiently waits for the crops to grow.
Consequently, the response from Jesus to John through the disciples is this, don’t doubt the promises of God because of the situation of your life; for though the promises of God may delay, their fulfilment cannot be denied. (cf Habakkuk 2:3, Hebrews 10:36, Isaiah 30:18, 2 Cor 1:20).
The season of advent is thus challenging us not to make our life situation a condition for our relationship with the Lord. We are to look beyond our life conditions with the assurance that our God is a God of fulfilment and the fact of His presence in our lives should be the cause of our joy.
Finally, let us as a country treasure the values of patience and endurance so that we can accommodate and tolerate others in moving this country forward.
We thank God for seeing us through a peaceful presidential and parliamentary elections. Congratulations to all the candidates, political parties and to all Ghanaians.
In his speech as president elect, Nana Akuffo Addo stated emphatically that he has not being elected to serve just one party but to serve Ghana. His Excellency John Mahama on the other hand mentioned in his concession speech that “I would’ve loved to do more but I respect the will of the people.” Let us then as Christians continue to support our leaders with our prayers especially for a successful and peaceful transfer of power.