“Rejoice in the Lord always, I shall say it again: rejoice!” This weekend we celebrate the Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday, the Latin word Gaudete meaning “Rejoice!” Paul’s words to the community at Philippi in the second reading this weekend call them to rejoice in the Lord…not only when things are going well, but at all times. How is it that we can rejoice in the Lord always? For indeed there are times when we are not happy. Happiness is an emotion that comes and goes depending upon our circumstances at a given time. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that abides within us. It is that peace that comes from the knowledge that God, in Jesus Christ has won the victory over sin and death, the knowledge that we are beloved sons and daughters of the Father who gives us his aid in all circumstances, and the knowledge that God desires for us to enjoy eternal life with him in heaven. Christmas and Advent are often referred to as seasons of joy. This is because we spend this time reflecting on the beginning of the fulfilment of God’s promise to send a Savior in Christ Jesus as we celebrate his Incarnation and birth. So let us rejoice always!