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Today is Gaudete Sunday! Gaudete is a Latin word that means joy, as in: Rejoice, Christmas is almost here!

Where does Joy come from?

On our way to church this morning, my oldest daughter yelled from the back seat to get my attention:”Dad, look, a deer!”

A deer was running through the field beside us leaping over mounds of snow. It was early and quiet. There weren’t many cars around. What a treat to be greeted this morning with such an unexpected surprise. We were smiling amazed by the beauty of the animal.

Today’s first reading proclaims the joy in store for the feeble, weak, and frightened. We hear about the salvation of the blind, the deaf, the lame, and the mute. God promises them and us the crown of everlasting joy.

This is the proof that Jesus gives to John the Baptist in the Gospel reading today that he is the Messiah. Those who are without hope–the blind, deaf, and lame–will be filled with joy.

Joy is always unexpected and undeserved. It comes in a quiet moment like a deer running through a field. It comes through the generosity that someone in great need this Christmas season receives from those who have more to give.

Grace is a free and undeserved gift of God’s life. It gives us joy.

When we pray, “pour forth, we beseech thee O Lord, thy grace into our hearts,” we are asking for a great and undeserved gift. We turn to Mary to pray for us in our unworthiness to be made “worthy of the promises of Christ.”

Today as we celebrate Gaudete Sunday, may we be given the gift of God’s grace so that we too may experience great joy.


Jared Dees

Author Jared Dees

Jared Dees is the creator of The Religion Teacher, a popular website for religious educators, and the author of Praying the Angelus: Find Joy, Peace, and Purpose in Everyday Life .

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