This is Gaudete Sunday and we begin with:
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice.
In deed the Lord is near."
The first reading from Isaiah tells us that even the desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers and rejoice with joyful song...
Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; they will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.
I guess that is sort of a description of what I imagine going to Heaven is like - everlasting joy! Today reminds us that Advent is a joyful season as we prepare for the coming of the Lord. The second reading is from the Letter of St. James and begins:
"Be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord." He then tells us to make our hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand. We are not to complain about one another.
I guess that is a good resolution for me to take for these last two weeks of Advent: Do not complain about anything but keep on thanking the Lord for all He is doing in me as I prepare to celebrate his birth again this Christmas.