¨ Gaudete Sunday is a joyous celebration. Although it takes place during the usually penitential period of Advent, Gaudete Sunday serves as a mid-point break from the austere practices to rejoice in the nearness of Jesus’s return in three ways.
The greatest danger to peace in society is if unbridled selfishness becomes our way of life. The way preached by John the Baptist was to form a sharing, caring community. “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Instead of sharing clothing or food, many see their neighbours as competitors and try to outdo them in status, lifestyle, travel, conspicuous spending and housing quality. Such self-seeking can give surface satisfaction but not deep and lasting joy. Materialism can easily make us forget our spiritual identity. St Francis of Assisi, the most joyful of saints, rightly said, “Lord, make us channels of your peace. For it is in giving that we receive.” Our best joy comes when we’re not thinking about ourselves at all, but trying to give a helping hand in the name of God.