Today is one of my favorite days in the liturgical calendar: Gaudete Sunday, the 3rd Sunday of Advent. It's the Sunday with the pink candle! "Gaudete" is Latin for "Rejoice." We are to rejoice always, according to St. Paul in the second reading for Mass today.
The Gospel is about St. John the Baptist. What does he have to say about joy? That He is near! That is what I forget when I become sad, discouraged, or tempted. Jesus Christ is near. Hang on for the joy!
Hang on because joy is near! This is very much the message that I see for Vanderbilt Catholic today. This semester has been for me a difficult one -- but one in which the Lord Jesus is very near. I really am in expectation of better things, even though I do not see them yet. Students especially are rising up in amazing ways to bring joy! Yesterday, there were students all afternoon cooking goodies in the Frassati House kitchen to give away in front of the library this afternoon. JOY! What a great way to celebrate Gaudete Sunday!