It is 16th December 2018. We celebrate third Sunday of Advent as Gaudete Sunday. A week we rejoice to meet the Lord is much more real and closeness than ever. It is indeed to thank God for God’s remembrance and liberation of us from the slavery of sin and selfishness. The readings are from Zephaniah 3:14-18; the second reading is Philippians 4:4-7; and the Gospel from Luke 3:10-18. We all wish to be happy and joyful. Most of the times, we do not recognise what and who gives us happiness. The first reading from the prophet Zephaniah suggests that when the Lord forgives God’s people and their wrongdoings, God fills God’s people with joy. Someone or something is not allowing us to experience this joy of the Advent. Time has come to recognise the factor that does allow us to flow happiness and joy in our lives. First thing we need to recognise the healing presence of the Lord and duly acknowledge and then we must make efforts to humble ourselves in confessing our sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Rejoicing cannot be a reality for those who cannot allow themselves to be liberated by the Lord. Happiness does not come by doing nothing. But to be joyful and to rejoice, we do need to do that one thing to let go off our past inclinations of our sins and willing to share that little with someone who is in need. Joy is a gift those who are willing to share the gift of love, life and laughter even some material stuff with someone. In the second reading St. Paul invites us to offer our thanks to God for all that God has filled us with. Yes indeed, God has filled us with peace and blessings because we have opened our hearts and willing to share something with the other. “The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your request known to God.” (Phil4:5). When we become friend of Jesus, we all feel like to share and celebrate Christmas with the poor and needy. There are many people around us looking for a smile and comfort. May we be willing to give them. The responsorial Psalm praises, “Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.” (Is.12:6). Yes indeed, God is amidst us no matter what the pain and frustration we go through. God is with us. God just wants us to recognizes God’s presence in our lives. “The Lord your God, is in your midst, a mighty saviour; God will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in God’s love, God will sing joyfully because of you.” (Zeph.3:18). The Gospel offers the clear way of obtaining happiness and joy by asking a question: “What should we do?” (Lk3:10). Our happiness comes from the Lord by being charitable, kind, forgiving, sharing our gifts with others whether it is material or spiritual, and willing to confess our own sins and failure to the Lord. We have received a lot, but we have not been generous to the Lord. Charity wipes out innumerable sins. If we do an inventory all the blessings that we have received from the Lord, we have not been that generous and kind to the Lord by our daily sharing. All struggles of life will just disappear like cloud when we are willing to do that one thing that Lord is asking us to do as we all want to rejoice in the Lord. We need to deal with the injustice we do others, selfishness and greed, lust and immorality. There is no way we can be joyful when we have ignored the poor and refusing to confess to the Lord. The is the finest week before Christmas, let us make effort to approach throne of mercy and forgiveness and prepare a parcel for someone who is in need. Let not this Christmas come and go without doing this one thing. May you have a good day. God bless you.

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