Traditionally, the violet vestments of Advent are lightened today to rose, a forecast of the joyful feast that is just two weeks ahead. It is easy to see why the third Sunday got the nickname Gaudete. Call it “Rejoice Sunday.”
Even so, some people tend to get particularly grumpy, grouchy, and irritable at this time of year. Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch are very much with us. Of course there are always reasons to be unhappy and remorseful: war in the Middle East, the weather (though not here so much), injustice, racism, the flu, student loans and credit card debt — the price we pay for indulging in the commercial extravagance encouraged by what is now known as the shopping season. But there are much better reasons to be joyful. Let me suggest that one of them is not shopping till you drop.