Sunday 11 December 2022
Third Sunday of Advent; Year A
The Joy that comes from being Rescued by Christ
Joy is the theme of the Third Sunday of Advent.
As it says in the first reading, “Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication to rescue you!” This is the reason for our joy. We have been ransomed from sin and its destruction; Jesus paid the price through his terrible sacrifice on the cross. This is why Jesus came to earth to be born as one of us: to rescue us from the horrors of an eternal separation from God and his love.
Compared to eternity, our current problems are little, very little indeed.
Joy comes from realising that, because of Jesus, no sins against us and no destructive forces can do us permanent harm. In fact, God will make good use of everything for our benefit! He defeats evil by making blessings come from it.
Even the worst of times become huge blessings if we let them unite us to Jesus.
With Christ and in imitation of how he suffered for the sake of others, we offer to others what our hardships have taught us, and thus our sufferings become ministries. Our sorrows find valuable meaning, which produces a joy that gets multiplied beyond measure.
In Christ we are crowned with everlasting joy.
We feel his joy and gladness because of the good that will come and is already starting. Sorrow and mourning will flee as we rise above our pain to rejoice in the goodness of joining in the ministry of Christ, and we are lifted by a faithful and compassionate God.
We must be patient while we wait for the Lord to convert our trials into triumphs.
To maintain an attitude of joy, we must remain firm in our faith, not doubting that the Lord is concerned about us. And we must not complain, because complaints mean that we think we know better than God does, about how our problems should be resolved and how long it should take.
Joy comes from rejoicing in the good news that God really does care. He is working on our behalf to produce many wonderful blessings from our sufferings.