As Christmas is near we cannot but feel excited and happy about it. I think, we are all busy in thinking of so many things this coming Christmas like parties, gifts, new clothes to wear, new motif for our decorations, Christmas gimmicks, out of town Christmas vacations, etc. etc. We are so preoccupied with all of these things having in mind that doing these kind of preparations will make us become happier and blessed this Christmas. But, let me ask you, how do we regard the importance of the real true happiness in our lives? How badly do we need it? But before asking this questions, let us ask ourselves first with this question; do we really experiencing the real true happiness in our lives? Do we really know what it is? If not, yesterday’s Third Sunday of Advent also known as the Gaudete Sunday offers us what’s real true happiness is all about.
The readings and the gospel for yesterday gives us three important things that we should consider in pondering and recognizing the worth of true happiness on our lives. (1) True Happiness cast out discouragements and fears. In the first reading, Prophet Zephaniah encourages us by saying this words; “Do not fear, Zion, do not be discouraged! The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior, who will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, who will sing joyfully because of you, as on festival days. (Zeph. 3: 16b-17)” Indeed, a person who is truly happy recognizes that the Lord will never abandon him/her in discouragements and fears if and only if he/she believes in Him, through Him, and with Him. For instance, if you’re feel so down and troubled with so many trials and challenges that you encounter in life; rejoice and be glad for today the Lord is telling you “I will not abandon you, I will not let you down. Do not be afraid for I am with you, your True Happiness that will lead you through your prosperity in life. Have faith and hope in me and I will be your crying shoulder whenever you’re in great difficulty”. (2) True Happiness leads us to real conversion. The letter of Paul to the Philippians gives us an idea what’s real conversion is all about; i.e. having no anxiety at all, but in everything fortified through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving as the Lord’s coming is near (Phil. 4:6). Hence, a person who is truly happy gives importance to the invitation of the Advent Season, i.e. real conversion. Real Conversion should be our reason why we should rejoice for the coming of the Lord. If today we are not still being attuned with the invitation of this season and still doing your old bad habits and vices, let’s do our best to say our yeses to the invitation by doing it with conviction. Remember; our best gift for the Lord’s coming is no other than our new self. (3) True Happiness motivate us to live life in the fullest. Yesterday’s gospel invites us that true happiness which motivate us to live life in the fullest will only be realized if and only if we have the capacity to share our new self to others. Indeed, True Happiness, which motivate us to live life in the fullest, is all about real sharing. The gospel yesterday gives us a concrete scenario how real sharing creates true and authentic happiness, and that scenario is when the crowd and the task collectors asked John the Baptist what then should they do as they expect for the coming of the Messiah. John the Baptist told them the basic forms of act of random kindness to those who are in need as they prepare their selves for the coming of the Messiah. John the Baptist believes that true happiness is all about charity and it is meant for sharing.
So, we have just realized and recognized what True Happiness is all about this coming Christmas. Going back to the three things that I mentioned, let me ask again some questions as our guide for reflection; do I really consider True Happiness as my inspiration to cast out all discouragements and fears that affects my life today? Am I really convinced about it despite the many preoccupations that I have in mind? Am I really convinced that True Happiness leads me to real conversion in spite of my shortcomings in life? Do I really being motivated by True Happiness to live life in the fullest despite the many complexities that I always encounter in my life every day? Let us pray that the compassionate Lord may grant us the courage and enthusiasm to find the True Happiness in our lives as we prepare ourselves this coming Christmas.