As Christians light the third candle on their Advent wreath and sing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” this Sunday, the call to “rejoice always” in the Lord rings out to a weary world, as our package from partner Catholic News Service shows this week.

Joy from the inside out
If the coming of Christmas feels for you like a photographer’s insistence that you “smile” when you don’t feel like it, take heart: the Scriptures are a gift from deep within, where Christ dwells and the Holy Spirit moves.

Advent meditation: Joy during life’s struggles and sorrows
We pray for the grace to encounter, as St. Paul did, a person — the person of Christ who brings a peace that the world cannot give, a joy surpassing understanding. After such an encounter, life will never be the same.

Look to John the Baptist, a man born into a mission of joy
Writer Shemaiah Gonzalez no longer looks at the odd personal habits of the herald of the Messiah, but as one who saw the light breaking through the darkness. With him, she is ready to sing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”