Happy Advent! Today we celebrate Gaudete Sunday, whose title is taken from Saint Paul’s letter to the Philippians: ‘Gaudete in Domino semper (rejoice in the Lord always)’.
There is a special distinction between simply being ‘happy’ and the more robust idea of ‘rejoicing’. Happiness is something more fleeting and elusive, rejoicing a more concrete, lasting and, strangely, sober. Rejoicing can be done with exuberance or seriousness, but centers around the profound.
There is an image of Mary and Elizabeth by an artist named Corby Eisbacher . It is titled ‘Jump for Joy’and it illustrates the moment when the mothers of Jesus and John met, and the infant prophet leapt in his mother’s womb at the voice of his Saviour’s mother. What joy an unborn child gives to its mother was magnified by the reality that this Child was so much more: the fulfilment of God’s promise to all mankind!
Last week we set on the task of naming five joys Advent has brought us. Were you able to find them? May we rest in those and all the joy of the Lord’s coming—rejoicing in God’s love made manifest in Christ.