As the celebration of Christ's birth draws near, joy is in the air. As a matter of fact, this Sunday is called "Gaudete" Sunday, which means "Rejoice." It is also reflected in today's liturgy. The prophet speaking to us in our first reading tells us he was sent to bring glad tidings to the poor, that he rejoices in the Lord, and in God, is the joy of his soul. The response, which is almost always from the Book of Psalms, is today taken from St. Luke's gospel. It is Mary's hymn of joy which she enthusiastically proclaimed when she visited her cousin Elizabeth after the annunciation. St. Paul in the second reading tells us to rejoice always. His instruction "rejoice" implies that rejoicing is more of a choice in attitude rather than a feeling that spontaneously comes over us. John the Baptist, whom we meet in the gospel, was an austere person, but his message was a joyful one, joyful because the Lord was coming. John was honored to have been chosen by God to point him out and to prepare the people for that coming.
Fr. Alex Ureña