The 3rd week of Advent is associated with the theme of Joy (hence the single rose-colored candle amongst 3 purple ones). At times like these, when I feel nothing but exhaustion at the end of the day, I am eternally grateful for the faith that taught me to keep our eyes of faith fixed on the Light of the world.
Yesterday's first reading (Isaiah 61:1-2, 10-11)
1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
and the Gospel reading about John the Baptist proclaiming himself a 'witness to the light' (John 1:6-8), reminded me of the passage in Machabees which liken us to a pan of impure silver under purification over fire, and only when the silversmith (our Creator) can see a clear reflection of Himself in that pan of silver is the process complete.
So through fire we cling on to Him to whom we will come to at the end of this Advent, and at the end of our exile.