Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near.
The liturgy of this Sunday, known as “Gaudete” Sunday, is a special invitation to us to joyfulness, to a vigilance that is not sad but happy.... True joy is not a fruit of “divertirsi” [having a good time] understood in the etymological sense of the word di-vertere (di-version), that is, shirking the commitments of life and one’s responsibilities. True joy is linked to something deeper...to our relationship with God. Those who have encountered Christ in their own lives feel a serenity and joy in their hearts that no one and no situation can take from them. St Augustine understood this very well; in his quest for truth, peace and joy, after seeking them in vain in many things he concluded with his famous words: “and our heart is restless until it rests in God” (cf. Confessions, I, 1, 1). True joy is not merely a passing state of mind or something that can be achieved with the person’s own effort; rather it is a gift, born from the encounter with the living Person of Jesus and, making room within ourselves, from welcoming the Holy Spirit who guides our lives. It is the invitation of the Apostle Paul who says: “May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess 5:23).
~Pope Benedict XVI, 12/11/11 Angelus Message
Shout with exultation, City of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!