My dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Sunday, December 17, is Gaudete Sunday. It is a day midway through the Advent season when we are called to be especially joyful because the Lord is near.
In the Second reading for Gaudete Sunday (1 Thess 5:16–24), St. Paul admonishes the Thessalonians (and all of us) with these words:
Brothers and sisters: Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.
Disciples of Jesus Christ should always be joyful—even in challenging, difficult times—but our anticipation of Christ’s return at Christmas, and at the end of time, compel us to sing out our joy in a special way.