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Joy to the world

(Reflection for 3rd Sunday of Advent)

The Lord has come. Let earth receive her king..!

The Scripture Readings of today deals with this JOY. It is a JOY that cannot be obtained overnight. It is a joy that is found in service.

We all knew that Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis on March 13, 2013. Soon after that, on November 24, 2013, the Apostolic Exhortation – “The Joy of the Gospel” “Evangelii Gaudium” – came out on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, and the conclusion of the Year of Faith.

An Italian monk and theologian Enzo Bianchi did an analysis of the Pope’s writings and noted that the two words he used most often were joy and mercy. Of course the two are related.

Our Christian faith is the encounter with God’s infinite mercy, revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Joy of the Gospel is meant to be shared; “there is nothing more precious which we can give to others” (EG #264). The Gospel is meant to overflow in us, to send us out into our neighbourhoods and into our world (120). As Pope Francis puts it, a Church that has deeply experienced God’s mercy “has an endless desire to show mercy.” (24)

As we light the Advent third candle of JOY on this “Gaudete” Rejoice Sunday, let us rejoice always in the Lord in His mercy and share this JOY of the coming of our Lord with every Eucharistic Celebration and especially at the celebration of Christ’s birthday at Christmas and give thanks to the Lord.

In Christ,
p. Henry Thura Zaw Min