1.Is 61:1-2a,10-11
2.1Thes 5:16-24
3.Jn 1:6-8,19-28

Theme of the readings “  faith in Christ is our only Joy”
Today within the season of advent is the third Sunday, it is the third Sunday of advent known as “ Gaudete Sunday” Gaudete is the latin word for “ rejoice” it is a reminder that as Christians  we are to be joyful people.
They joyfulness seen in catholics should mirror the love and presence of Christ among them. Catholics and the rest of Christians in other denominations should live the life of witness to Christ so as to bring a transformation to the rest  of the world. This joy should attract those who have not yet lived / received the grace of God. By being joyful people we as catholics are invited to be instruments of God’s love to those whose hearts are yearning to receive Jesus. In our current situation this virtue( Joy) has not been well cultivated, we can ask ourselves why is it so?/ has been lost
The reason here is apparent, that  it is due to the lack of establishing and maintaining our real identity in Jesus Christ, a close relationship with Jesus Christ. It is also our inability to see Jesus Christ around us.
Let’s recall a story that can help us to understand this. A certain brothers monastery discovered that it was going through difficult moment and crisis. Some of the monks had left, there were no new candidate joining the monastery, people were no longer coming for prayer and spiritual direction as they used to. Those monks remained in a monastery were few, were becoming old, becoming stressed, bitter and even relationships among themselves were unkind. The Abbot ( the superior of the monastery) had heard about the holy man, a hermit living alone in woods and decided to consult with him regarding the their monastery problem at hand. The hermit after hearing that he told an abbot that he had a secret for him regarding to their problem. He informed the abbot that one friar living in the monastery was actually  the messiah, but he was living in such a way that nobody could recognize him. With this revelation an abbot went back home, called a community meeting to discuss about the revelation he acquired from the holy hermit. The aging monks looked at each other exactly to discern who among them could be Christ.
Could it be Brother Joseph who prays all the time! But has got gossiping attitude! Could it be Brother Matthew who is always willing to help? But has got a problem of eating, drinking much and he can’t fast for Christ’s sake.
The abbot kept on telling them that the messiah had adopted some bad habits as a way of hiding his real identity. Hearing that, this made them even more confused and they could no longer make a way forward to identify among them about who was a real messiah. At the end of the meeting what each monk knew for sure was that any of the monks excluding himself could be the Christ. From that day the monks began to treat one another with great respect, and humility knowing that the person  they were speaking to could be very Christ. They began to show love to one another, they community life become more brotherly, and their prayers more fervent. Slowly people from outside began to take a notice  of the new spirit in the monastery, thus people embarked coming to the monastery for prayers and spiritual direction. Word began to spread and candidates aspiring to join the monastery began to show up and thus the number of monks grew in zeal and love. All this took place as the holy man of God reminded them their responsibility to remember that Christ was amid them, that Christ was present in all
of them.
As Baptized Catholics we all have the spirit of Christ we received at our Baptism and confirmation. Through the sacrament of Eucharist we have the true body and blood of Christ physically united with our bodies
To rejoice in Christ is to have faith in him. Many of us are experiencing hardship, challenges and tough times in our lives, like majority are jobless, sick,  and some are in broken relationship, yet if all have a trust in Jesus Christ there is no need to give up and despair.
The question a head of us is that where to have faith? The answer is  faith that every thing in life, good or bad has purpose, and that purpose will be used to help us grow in virtue and holiness. In faith we overcome our attitudes.
As we celebrate this Sunday we are all invited to be joyful in the because already we have gained access because we have gained access  into holy family of God, that is the father, son and the holy spirit as we are all adopted as sons and daughters of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s look holiness in each one of us. Let our Joy radiates the truth in our brothers and sisters who have not discovered that Jesus Christ is among them.

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Chapisha Maoni