Today is “Gaudete Sunday” or the third Sunday of Advent, or, as many people say, “The Sunday where Father wears pink.” This Sunday began as a midpoint of the season of Advent and was lived out as a bit of a break from the penitential practices of the season of Advent. Hence the use of the term “gaudete,” which means “rejoice”.
To signify the significance of this particular Sunday, the clergy are allowed to wear a rose colored vestment, rather than the customary violet. While not the full white, the rose indicates a bit of hope, a sign of the hope breaking through the darker moments.
For us spiritually, this is how we ought to live. There are many times in our lives where there is darkness. Sometimes the darkness happens from outside of us, found in factors that we cannot control. Other times, the darkness occurs because of our own making, our poor decisions, our sinfulness. Regardless of how this occurs, we are a people of hope.
For a believer in Jesus Christ, hope is not based upon chance. It is not the type of “hope” that I will have a lucky ticket for the lottery. Rather, Catholic hope is based upon the surety of Jesus Christ. Knowing that Jesus Christ is the savior and has entered into this world, the believer can know the darkness and sin does not have the last word. Yes, we do walk through the darkness, through the sufferings and pain, but we know that in the end, it is Jesus and his resurrection that is the final statement.
So let us be a people who pay attention to the reality of the hope that Jesus Christ offers. Let us see in the rose vestments the light breaking through. It is there where we must keep our focus so that we might rejoice with even greater excitement at the entrance of Jesus Christ into the world in the great season of Christmas.
Fr. Nels Gjengdahl