Dear saints of God, the readings for the 3rd Sunday in Advent are: John 1:6-8, 19-28; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; Psalm 126.

The theme for the 3rd Sunday in Advent – symbolized by the pink candle on the Advent wreath – is Joy. This is a chance to ponder the question: “Where do I find joy this time of year?” The traditions of light, evergreens, special songs and food are certainly one source of joy. But for those who are weighed down by sadness, family conflict, or health problems, these beautiful traditions aren’t enough.

This Sunday’s readings remind us that the real joy of Advent and Christmas comes only from knowing Christ. John the Baptist came to announce a divine solution to all our human problems – a Light to shine in our darkness (John 1). God’s chosen servant would ease the pain of our grieving and set us free from our sins (Is. 61). Because of Christ, we are able to “rejoice always” and “give thanks in all circumstances”, even when we’re not in a holiday mood (1 Thess.). Are you finding reason to rejoice this Advent? Are you looking in the right places?