Advent is a curious time.
The hymns are often in a minor key. They’re expectant and yet not always very cheerful.
The scripture readings for a lot of Advent are about tough subjects like repentance and the end of time. John the Baptist is anything but cheery. And the prophets – well it’s their job to share messages of tough love. Yet here we are, at the start of the third week, lighting the pink candle, not because of Mary or any other female driven reason, but because it is Gaudete (Gau de tay) Sunday. Gaudete is Latin for rejoice and so today, quite properly, is “Rejoice Sunday.”
Given the fact that John the Baptist starts his sermon by calling the crowd a “brood of vipers” – it may be a little hard to believe this is a day dedicated to rejoicing – but it is.