The third Sunday in Advent features the pink or rose colored candle. Its light represents the gifts of joy amidst the long journey in darkness. We need the little doses of hope and joy when bearing difficult times. We need the reprieves from bad and worst news. We need the splashes of light amidst dark and heavy times.

We need gifts of joy in the form of clear pet-scans, generous and unexpected aid from friends and strangers, appreciation for quiet and faithful presence, being part of a Christmas choir, receiving a poinsettia and delivering the same, hearing that others want to help your child go to a life-changing trip to Chile, celebrating the anniversary of the day you met your daughter, a day of sunshine after two weeks without, joining others in common prayer, celebrating the ordination of a dear friend and sister, lighting the Advent candles at the end of a long day just to bask in its gentle light.

We do not need a lot. We can bear much. All we need along the way are the little gifts of surprising joy. This is the message of the third candle in Advent.

Rejoice and exult with all your heart!…even for the little things.