On this Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, we are invited to Rejoice! And yet when we look at the landscape of our world, there is not much to be joyful about these days. But our readings today show us how to live in joyful hope even when our world seems to be falling apart. The prophet Isaiah envisions a parched land bursting with new life as the blind see, the deaf hear, the mute sing, and the lame dance. Paul gives us an image of joyful hope in the farmer patiently awaiting the harvest. And even John the Baptist, sitting in a prison cell, sends his disciples to hear the new prophet, Jesus, and ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” Jesus invites the disciples to look around and see for themselves how the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled. Our challenge today is to practice living with joyful hope. We do this by embracing all that we are, the good and the bad, in us and in our world, and knowing that God still beats and breathes within us. God still dreams in us, still believes in us, and still loves us.