Soul Food for Hungry Adult Communities: Dec.15th 2013: 3rd Sunday of Advent, Year A

Esker Church, for Third Sunday of Advent, 'Gaudete !' Sunday, -'Rejoice !'

Soul Food for Hungry Adult Communities: Dec.15th 2013: 3rd Sunday of Advent, Year A.

Malachy 3:1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty. (quoted in today’s Gospel, Matthew 11:2-11.

A Reflection:


Newgrange Dawn

The days are short and getting shorter, the nights are long and getting longer. At least for the moment. But come the end of this week and we will have reached the turn of the year, the longest night of the year, the shortest day of the year, on Saturday 21st December. Our Irish ancestors, over 5000 years ago, watched for this, too, and the burial mound at Newgrange testifies to this,- they watched for the rising of the sun on this morning of December 21st, when the light flooded into the darkest and deepest chamber. A bit like our hearts and our societies at times, when all there seems to be around us is darkness, weariness, discouragement, violence,  sadness. And then that day comes when there is the turning of the year, and light floods our hearts, our communities, right to our depths. ‘It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness‘.

And in the face of that, how about this? The first Reading this third Sunday, this ‘Rejoice’ Sunday, speaks to all of us who have  ‘weary hands…trembling knees… faint hearts’. Isn’t this what the approaching celebration of the coming of the Christ into our world and into our lives, is all about? Hear the words deeply:

Strengthen all weary hands, steady all trembling knees, and say to all faint hearts ‘Courage! Do not be afraid. Look, your God is coming.’ ‘

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed, then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy, for those whom the Lord has ransomed shall return….everlasting joy shall be on their faces…sorrow and lament will be ended.”

“They shall see the glory of the Lord, the splendour of our God.”

Our Lord,- yours and mine and all of ours- is on the way towards us, to flood the chambers of our hearts and communities with his glory, his presence, his own joy, his light. Our faces will be radiant when we gaze at the human child, the Son of the Most High, lying there for the world and for us in the feeding trough of the animals, and wrapped in the swaddling clothes of our welcome.

And then, in our blindnesses we will see, in our lameness we will begin to walk again, in our diseases we will be cleansed, our deafness will be taken away, and our deadness will waken up to a whole new aliveness, as we hear glad tidings of great joy announced to each of our hearts and communities.

‘Rejoice in the Lord, always! Again, I say, Rejoice! The Lord is near!’

Everlasting joy shall be on our faces!

Fr. Seamus Devitt C.Ss.R.


To see ‘Soul Food for Young Adult Communities’ for this Sunday, click here.





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