We lit the third candle on the Advent wreath, one that is a rose or pink color, because today is Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is Latin for "rejoice" and that is the theme of the Gospel readings. In light of the tragedy that occurred in Newton, CT--another school shooting resulting in the senseless deaths of 26 people, the last thing I want to hear right now "rejoice."
When it's an easy time to rejoice, we often don't. I know I often all that I have been given for granted. In the midst of difficult times, it's even harder to rejoice. But this Sunday of Advent tells us to look ahead. Indeed, we need a reminder to take the long look. It helps to hear this from another. Once again, enter in John the Baptist.
St. John the Baptist was a witness to one thing: Jesus the Christ. He lived his life for one cause: Jesus, Emmanuel. John tells us to rejoice because he knows what Christ will bring. Jesus' name reveals His gift: He is the Prince of Peace.
The first lap is fast. As runners get out of the gate, they are seeking to find their pace. The nervous energy carries you through the entire 400 meters. The first week of Advent is no different. When Advent begins, it's hard to believe we are in the race, the rush of Christmas time.
It is no great secret that the third lap requires the most focus. The first 200m of that race is often considered "the forgotten leg." Runners have just cleared the half way point. Like this Sunday of Advent, it should be a time to rejoice! because the hard work is behind us. Focus on the here and now. One 200m leg at a time. In Advent, that pink candle is a visual reminder, a sign of encouragement--there is but one week, one lap left.
As the pink candle burns this week, let us remember that forgotten leg...that call to rejoice....that reminder we are almost there. The Prince of Peace will again be born into the world and into our hearts this Christmas. Each and every age recognizes the need for His presence. We feel it today more than ever.
high school track