Summary: St. Augustine used a famous expression--the "joy of truth," gaudium de veritate. 

Advent 3B

A professor was asked by one of his students, “What is the meaning of life?" The usual laughter followed, but the professor said "I will answer your question."

Taking his wallet out of his hip pocket, he fished around in a leather wallet and brought out a very small round mirror, about the size of a quarter. And what he said went like this:

"When I was a small child, during the war, we were very poor and we lived in a remote village. One day, on the road, I found the broken pieces of a mirror. A German motorcycle had been wrecked in that place.

"I tried to find all the pieces and put them together, but it was not possible, so I kept only the largest piece. This one. And by scratching it on a stone I made it round. I began to play with it as a toy and became fascinated by the fact that I could reflect light into dark places where the sun would never shine — in deep holes and crevices and dark closets. It became a game for me to get light into the most inaccessible places I could find.

"I kept the little mirror, and as I went about my growing up, I would take it out in idle moments and continue the challenge of the game. As I became a man, I grew to understand that this was not just a child’s game but a metaphor for what I might do with my life. I came to understand that I am not the light or the source of light. But light — truth, understanding, knowledge — is there, and it will only shine in many dark places if I reflect it.

We hear a description of John the Baptist in our Gospel text today:

“He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.” (John 1:8)

John the Baptist so wanted to reflect the light of Christ that he wanted himself to get out of the way, so he said:

I am not “the Christ,” nor am I “the Prophet."

He was not interested in putting the word “the” before his qualifications, i.e. “the expert,” “the boss,” “the consultant”...

He described himself purely in terms of being a mirror to reflect Christ:

I am "the voice of one crying out in the desert, 'make straight the way of the Lord'."

Today is “Gaudete Sunday.” A day dedicated to spiritual joy.

According to the rubrics: In this Mass the color violet or rose is used.

It can thus be either one. It doesn’t have to be rose; it can also be violet. Rose is another name for pink. The color represents spiritual joy. Violet is another name for purple.

As the commercial world is already saturated with red and green, it’s easy to lose sight of the true colors of the Advent season. Violet represents advent penance and rose or pink stands for spiritual joy.

1). Joy comes from our contributions reflecting the light of Christ in our service to others.

In the book, “The Happiness Project,” the author presents an insight into the nature of true joy.

She writes: Generous acts strengthen the bonds of friendship, and what’s more, studies show that your happiness is often boosted more by providing support to other people than from receiving support yourself.

We certainly get more satisfaction out of thinking about good deeds we’ve done for other people, which is like giving a gift.

Not like:

One kid said to Santa, “Now that you’ve taken my order, can you give me a tracking number?”

2. Spiritual joy also comes by contemplating the truths of the gift of faith—

A gift can break down boundaries, and create a personal connection. It has social, cultural and spiritual meaning.

Through gifts we define who we are to others and what our common relationship means to us. A gift has considerable effect on a relationship because of the emotional character.

God has given us the most precious of all gifts in our salvation in Christ Jesus.

St. Augustine used a famous expression--the "joy of truth," gaudium de veritate.

Saint John Paul II defined St. Augustine's expression gaudium de veritate as "that joy of searching for, discovering, and communicating truth," in particular the truth about God's revelation in Jesus.

Satan’s counterfeit of the joy of truth is banal pleasure. He knows that the pleasure of sin lasts but a moment and leaves the soul desolate.

True joy is deep down in the soul and does not fade. St. Teresa of Avila used to say that the presence of spiritual joy is the surest sign of the presence of God.

Most people would probably say that the opposite of joy is sorrow.

I heard one priest say that the opposite of joy—at this time of the year, at least—is not sorrow; rather it’s “circumstances.”

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