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Advent: Why We Rejoice

We are now in the third week of Advent, and lighting the third candle (the “Gaudete” candle) reminds us that we are to rejoice. The chorus of O Come Emmanuel calls us to “Rejoice, rejoice…” — in Latin, “Gaude, gaude…” The brightening of the Advent purple to the color rose is a visual prompt to brighten our hearts at the anticipation of our savior’s birth. We know that we are awaiting Christ’s birth, that this is the reason for our Christmas celebrations. But do we regularly meditate on the impact of that long-awaited birth on human history? Why is this cause to rejoice? Listen to the closing of the Magnificat’s Morning Prayer for the third Sunday of Advent:

“O God of all good, you sent your Son to bring sight to the sightless, healing to the wounded, cleansing to the unclean, hearing to the deaf, life to those condemned to death. Make your Church a living proclamation of your rule, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.”

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