Rejoice, Rejoice To You Shall Come Emmanuel!

The past Sunday we celebrated the third week of Advent. Boy, did I make an spectacle of myself. No, I didn't fall from a ladder, slip on ice or drink too much. I simply showed up to do Mass wearing pink -- or should I use the correct term ROSE. The compliments from so many women as they departed from Mass took me aback. But what does the rose colored candle in the Advent Wreath or the rose colored vestment mean?
This particular Sunday is known as "Gaudate Sunday." The words "joy" and "rejoice" appear several times in the readings. Joy is an elusive feeling for most of us. We have moments of joy associated with special events in our lives, celebrations, or spontaneous moments of pure fun. But sustaining joy -- for most of us -- seems exhausting or impossible. The joy that the readings speak about, however, is not a temporary feeling that is determined by the circumstances around us. This joy comes from being completely confident that God is with us -- protecting, redeeming, justifying and guarding us. This is the joy that we are hoping and longing for. This is the joy that we hope that will be ours completely one day.