Throughout the Advent Season of 2020, each one of the four members of the International Vincentian Family Office will offer a brief video reflection about our present reality and the path of hope that leads to a future in which the birth of the Lord illuminates the present-day reality.
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
On this third Sunday of Advent, also known as “Gaudete” Sunday, the Church invites us to rejoice: rejoice, the Lord is coming! The rose color liturgical vestments are an external sign of that joy.
I invite you to experience three moments of that joy:
 The joy of conversion: John the Baptist prepares the way of the Lord. The first step along that way is conversion. That reality was a constant theme in the preaching of the prophets who always invited the people to return to the Lord, to seek forgiveness and to change their way of life. According to the prophets, conversion implies a change of direction and a return to the Lord. This conversion is based on the certainty that God loves us and that love is always a faithful love. Therefore, we are invited to return to the Lord who is among us and whom we do not recognize (cf. John 1:26). Let us follow, therefore, this invitation of the Lord and let us not put up resistance, because only if we open ourselves to His mercy will we find true life and true joy (Francis, audience of June 18, 2016).
 The joy of encounter: Jesus Christ is the way and Jesus awaits us in order to accompany us to the Father: Being Christian means the joy of belonging completely to Christ, “the one spouse of the Church”, encountering him is like going to a wedding. Therefore, joy and the understanding of Christ’s centrality are the two attitudes that Christians should cultivate in their daily lives (Francis, homily of September 6, 2013).
 The joy of service: to serve, that is the joy of the Church: to go a step further, always; to go further and give life (Francis, homily of November 6, 2015). To have a new heart as a result of conversion and a new life as a result of affirming the presence of Christ leads us to unite ourselves with the Church in carrying out her mission of service and sharing. Saint Vincent de Paul told the missionaries: Our vocation is to go all over the world … and to do what? To set people’s hearts on fire, to do what the Son of God did. He came to set the world on fire in order to inflame it with his love (CCD:XII:215). Yes, all people are called to hear the angel’s greeting: Hail, favored one (Luke 1:28) and to hear those words as an invitation to joy, deep joy. [That greeting] announces an end to the sadness that exists in the world […] It is a greeting that marks the beginning of the Gospel, the Good News (Benedict XVI, audience of December 19, 2012). Our mission today is to run immediately, like Mary, in order to bring good news to our sisters and brothers.