This coming Sunday is the Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday. If a church has rose (pink) vestments, this Sunday is one of two Sundays during the year when they make their appearance. As we get closer to Christmas, the mood becomes lighter in Advent.
The Introit this Sunday begins, "Rejoice in the Lord always!" For those in the Latin Class, they will now know why this Sunday is sometimes called Gaudete Sunday (Rejoice Sunday), and there is much to rejoice about as we shall discover in this Sunday's Gospel.
We shall hear the good news about the healings of Jesus. The King who is about to come is going to be a king of mercy, peace and justice. He will be a loving Lord who lifts up the outcast and restores the health of the sick. Even though Advent does have its penitential nature, this is also a season of pure joy due to the hope the coming King brings.
So this week I give you two challenges to spread this hopeful joy of Jesus Christ. First, be sure to bring your gifts this Sunday for Hale Kipa. The church is collecting a variety of items for homeless youth in Waikiki. Is there a better way to prepare for the King than by providing gifts to some of the most vulnerable in our neighborhood? The Queen Emma Outreach Guild will be assembling the backpacks next week to deliver to the youth in time for Christmas.
Second, be sure to make your donations for Christmas flowers and music. Just as it makes no sense to worship Christ without helping those in need, it is also a great travesty to help those in need while neglecting the worship and honor due to our Lord Jesus Christ. One without the other quickly devolves into serving the ego rather than serving others and serving Christ. To restate an old Anglo-Catholic axiom for modern people, you cannot serve Christ in the streets without worshiping him on his altar.
Please do make your donations by this coming Sunday. We need to get these things wrapped up, because I have another outreach opportunity to announce next week which shall culminate on the Epiphany of Our Lord. There are more needs in the world which we are called to address.
Father Paul Lillie+