The third Sunday of Advent is Gaudette Sunday – the liturgical day of the year we light the pink candle and recall the concept of joy in the world.
Zephaniah tells us to rejoice and be glad with God our Savior, to sing, dance and exult God with all your heart. In the Gospel, John the Baptist is preaching to those who were at the river about what to do now that they are baptized. Interestingly, first he addresses everyone to share what they have to anyone who comes along in need. Next, each according to their profession tells them how to conduct themselves in business dealings. John the Baptist is trying to teach them how to live their daily lives as God would want.
Today, Baptisms are a time when a person is claimed for Christ and become a member of the church. It is a time when the community gathered, joyfully welcomes the newest member of the church to faith in Jesus Christ; to be born anew to go forth, ready to serve God through using the spiritual gifts they have been given. Every baptized person is joyfully gifted; called to serve God as priest, prophet and king; to share one’s spiritual gifts in how we act, what we proclaim and through one’s daily lives at home or in profession, out in the world.
Think back on your life; the time you can remember since your Baptism. Now, think of one of your spiritual gifts; one way you are joyfully gifted. Can you see evidence of this spiritual gift since the time of your Baptism? Go decade by decade through your life and identify how you have used this spiritual gift over the course of your life? Did the times you used your spiritual bring the person you served joy? Did it bring you joy? Today, be joyful, sing and dance with God, exulting him with all your heart for the spiritual gifts you have been given and the opportunities you have had to serve him and bring joy to others.