The Color of Joy

A Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent

By Sr. Susanne Bunn, MHSH

Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/121221.cfm

When I was a little girl and a teen, pink was my favorite color.  On the third Sunday of Advent, the rose vestments, the Advent candle and the readings still lift my heart.

I can picture the teen-aged Mary reading the first reading, listening to God speak to her:  “Shout for joy, O daughter Zion. Sing joyfully, O Israel….The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty Savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness and renew you in his love…”.Maybe those words were singing within Mary when the Angel Gabriel came.

It is a challenge to carve out time to read Scripture.  If I read the Sunday readings a few days before Mass, the message comes alive as I listen to the Word proclaimed.  When the bread and wine are brought forward, I put my week on the altar with those gifts.  Jesus is present offering himself completely to Abba God, and he takes me with him.

I feel sad when people say, “I don’t get anything out of Mass.” Doing the work of preparing the readings and of offering ourselves with Jesus to the Father will make it possible for us to get a whole lot out of every single Mass.  Someone once said that if we make the effort to remember one single word from the readings, the Holy Spirit can feed us all week with spiritual food from that Mass.

After my years in Colorado and Arizona, green became my favorite color.  Most Sundays of the year, the vestments are green.  Father Caimi, a former pastor of a church where I served, said that colors mark out special celebrations, but when the priest wears green, it is ‘growing time’.”  Rose is worn only twice a year.  Today is special.  We continue with Advent, Christmas, Holy Family Sunday, Epiphany, and Baptism of Our Lord. Stay connected to Mass as we celebrate each joy.  Stay connected when we return to green vestments and ‘growing time’.