Cathedral of St Patrick & St Joseph | Te Whare Karakia o Hato Pateriki raua ko Hato Hohepa | Catholic Diocese of Auckland, New Zealand

Pastor’s Note

Third Sunday of Advent ~ Gaudete Sunday ~ 9 December 2018


John the Baptist was a true prophet and he bore testimony to Christ not only by his words but also by his way of life.

In fact, Jesus himself remarks about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind?” Jesus thus praises John and calls him someone who is more than a prophet.

John did not achieve his popularity just by his eloquence.

Crowds from all over came to see him because they finally found a man who ‘walked the talk’.

John could boldly challenge the crowds to repentance and convince them to start living a life of union with God, because he himself did it in his own life.

We too are called to be followers of Christ not in words alone but like John also through our actions of love and good deeds.

John in his day gave concrete examples of good deeds: people should share their food and clothes; tax collectors should be just; soldiers should act fairly and so forth.

In our day and time, we have our own concrete examples of good deeds that bring a remedy to our lives, our union with God and our relationships with our neighbour.

John’s teachings suggest that each person has a role to play in God’s salvation and the betterment of society.

It is the great mystery of our salvation that God permits and even asks for human cooperation in his divine plans. The third Sunday of Advent is also called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is the Latin word for “rejoice.” We mark this Sunday by lighting a pink candle instead of a purple one on our Advent wreath.

It is a reminder that the Advent season is a season of joy because our salvation is already at hand.

May the life of John the Baptist inspire us to be not just proclaimers of the word but proclaimers who put into practise the word and by doing this we too can join the ranks of the greatest in the Kingdom of God.

Blessings ~ Fr George Carlos
Cathedral of St Patrick & St Joseph

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