The season of joy is near! We celebrate Gaudete (rejoice) Sunday in the middle of Advent to remind ourselves of the joy which we have in the Lord by the forgiveness of our sins. We are welcomed home from the exile of sin and restored to the promise of our heavenly homeland. We hear the prophet Zephaniah say: “The LORD has removed the judgment against you, has turned away your enemies; the King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear.”
Joy is the antidote to fear. We are secure in the knowledge that God will conquer our enemies—sin and death. If heaven awaits us, what do we have to fear from death? If we are freed from our sins, what do we have to fear in this world? This is the freedom we receive when we hear the priest, in Reconciliation, say: “I absolve you from your sins in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” We rejoice to go forth in His name, eagerly looking forward to the coming of our Savior. We no longer have any reason to fear facing our Just Judge when we have already reconciled with Him.
Do take advantage of the opportunity we have this Sunday to receive Reconciliation with God through a good, honest Confession. This is an important part of our Advent preparations. Don’t wait; go today and be reconciled with God. Let the Sacrament of Reconciliation renew your hearts in joy. I can think of no better way to celebrate Gaudete Sunday than by turning in the sorrow for our sins in exchange for the joy of Reconciliation.