Category Archives: Advent

4th Sunday of Advent (B). Mass readings.

4th Sunday of Advent (B)
Mass readings

READING I
2 Sm 7:1–5, 8b–12, 14a, 16

When King David was settled in his palace, and the Lord had given him rest from his enemies on every side, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!” Nathan answered the king, “Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the Lord is with you.” But that night the Lord spoke to Nathan and said: “Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Should you build me a house to dwell in?’

“It was I who took you from the pasture and from the care of the flock to be commander of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth. I will fix a place for my people Israel; I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance. Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old, since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you. And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.”

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Misericórdias tuas, Dómine, in ætérnum cantábo.

The promises of the Lord I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”
R.
“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.’
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm.”
R.

READING II
Rom 16:25–27

Brothers and sisters: To him who can strengthen you, according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages but now manifested through the prophetic writings and, according to the command of the eternal God, made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith, to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ be glory forever and ever. Amen.

ALLELUIA
I am the servant of the Lord: may his will for me be done.

 Ecce ancílla Dómini: fiat mihi secúndum verbum tuum.

 GOSPEL
Lk 1:26–38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

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DECEMBER 23. Mass readings.

DECEMBER 23
Mass readings

READING I

Mal 3:1–4, 23–24

Thus says the Lord God: Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Yes, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who will endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? For he is like the refiner’s fire, or like the fuller’s lye. He will sit refining and purifying silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer due sacrifice to the Lord. Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem will please the Lord, as in the days of old, as in years gone by.

Lo, I will send you Elijah, the prophet, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and terrible day, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with doom.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM

R Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand.
Respícite et leváte cápita vestra, quónium appropínquat redémptio vestra.

Your ways, O Lord, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior. R.

Good and upright is the Lord;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way. R.

All the paths of the Lord are kindness and constancy
toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the Lord is with those who fear him,
and his covenant, for their instruction. R.

ALLELUIA

Come, King of all nations, source of your Church’s unity and faith: save all mankind, your own creation!

Rex géntium et lapis  anguláris Ecclésiæ: veni, et salva hóminem quem de limo formásti. 

GOSPEL

Lk 1:57–66

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be? For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.”

4th Sunday of Advent (B): FIAT! BE IT DONE!

4th Sunday of Advent (B)
FIAT! BE IT DONE!

OUTLINE

1 The Annunciation and Incarnation of the Son of God.

2. Gratitude to Our Lady. Our fiat!

As Christmas approaches, our Mother Church brings us our attention in today’s liturgy the fulfillment of the Scriptures through the generous response of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as recounted to us in the Gospel of St. Luke on the Annunciation:

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

1 The Annunciation and Incarnation of the Son of God.

This Gospel passages are of utmost importance for they serve as the biblical bases of several truths of our faith: Immaculate Conception, Divine Maternity of Mary, the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Virginal Conception of the Son of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

As the Navarre Bible Commentary to the Gospel of St. Luke explains:

Here we contemplate our Lady who was “enriched from the first instant of her conception with the splendour of an entirely unique holiness; . . . the virgin of Nazareth is nailed by the heralding angel, by divine command, as ‘full of grace’ (cf. Lk 1:28), and to the heavenly messenger she replies, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word’ (Lk 1:38). Thus the daughter of Adam, Mary, consenting to the word of God, became the Mother of Jesus. Committing herself whole-heartedly and impeded by no sin to God’s saving will, she devoted herself totally, as a handmaid of the Lord, to the person and work of her Son, under and with him, serving the mystery of redemption, by the grace of Almighty God. Rightly, therefore, the Fathers see Mary not merely as passively engaged by God, but as freely cooperating in the work of man’s salvation through faith and obedience” (Vatican, II, Lumen gentium, 56).

“HAIL”: literally the Greek text reads “Rejoice!”, obviously referring to a unique joy, over the news which the angel is about to communicate.

“FULL OF GRACE”: by this unusual form of greeting the archangel reveals Mary’s special dignity and honour.

  • The Fathers and Doctors of the Church “taught that this singular, solemn and unheard-of greeting showed that all the divine graces reposed in the Mother of God and that she was adorned with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit,” which meant that she “was never subject to the curse”, that is, was preserved from all sin.
  • These words of the archangel in this text constitute one of the sources which reveal the dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception (cf. Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, Paul VI, Creed of the People of God).

“THE LORD IS WITH YOU!”: these words are not simply a greeting (“the Lord be with you”) but an affirmation (“the Lord is with you”), and they are closely connected with the Incarnation. St Augustine comments by putting these words on the archangel’s lips: “He is more with you than he is with me: he is in your heart, he takes shape within you, he fills your soul, he is in your womb” (Sermo de Nativitate Domini, 4).

“BLESSED ARE YOU AMONG WOMEN!”: God will exalt Mary over all women. She is more excellent than Sarah, Hannah, Deborah, Rachel, Judith, etc, for only she has the supreme honour of being chosen to be the Mother of God.

The ANNUNCIATION is the moment when our Lady is given to know the vocation which God planned for her from eternity.

  • When the archangel sets her mind at ease by saying “DO NOT BE AFRAID, MARY,” he is helping her to overcome that initial fear which a person normally experiences when God gives him or her a special calling. The fact that Mary felt this fear does not imply the least trace of imperfection in her: hers is a perfectly natural reaction in the face of the supernatural. Imperfection would arise if one did not overcome this fear or rejected the advice of those in a position to help — as St Gabriel helped Mary.
  • The archangel Gabriel tells the Blessed Virgin that she is to be the Mother of God, by reminding her of the words of Isaiah which announced that the Messiah would be born of a virgin, a prophecy which will find its fulfilment in Mary (cf. Mt 1:22-23; Is 7-14).

He reveals that the Child will be “GREAT”:

  • his greatness comes from his being God, a greatness he does not lose when he takes on the lowliness of human nature. He also reveals that Jesus will be the King of the Davidic dynasty sent by God in keeping with his promise of salvation; that his Kingdom will last forever, for his humanity will remain forever joined to his divinity; that “HE WILL BE CALLED SON OF THE MOST HIGH”, that is, that he really will be the Son of the Most High and will be publicly recognized as such, that is, the Child will be the Son of God.

The archangel’s announcement evokes the ancient prophecies which foretold these prerogatives. Mary, who was well-versed in Sacred Scripture, clearly realized that she was to be the Mother of God.

“THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL COME UPON YOU, AND THE POWER OF THE MOST HIGH WILL OVERSHADOW YOU. THEREFORE THE CHILD TO BE BORN WILL BE CALLED HOLY, THE SON OF GOD.

  • The “shadow” is a symbol of the presence of God. When Israel was journeying through the wilderness, the glory of God filled the Tabernacle and a cloud covered the Ark of the Covenant (Ex 40:34-36). And when God gave Moses the tables of the Law, a cloud covered Mount Sinai (Ex 24:15-16); and also, at the Transfiguration of Jesus the voice of God the Father was heard coming out of a cloud (Lk 9:35).
  • At the moment of the Incarnation the power of God envelopes our Lady — an expression of God’s omnipotence. The Spirit of God — which, according to the account in Genesis (1:2), moved over the face of the waters, bringing things to life — now comes down on Mary. And the fruit of her womb will be the work of the Holy Spirit. The Virgin Mary, who herself was conceived without any stain of sin (cf. Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus) becomes, after the Incarnation, a new tabernacle of God.

“BE IT DONE UNTO ME ACCORDING TO YOUR WORD.”

  • Once she learns of God’s plan, our Lady yields to God’s will with prompt obedience, unreservedly. She realizes the disproportion between what she is going to become — the Mother of God — and what she is — a woman. However, this is what God wants to happen and for him nothing is impossible, and therefore no one should stand in his way. So Mary, combining humility and obedience, responds perfectly to God’s call: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word”.

“Mary’s ‘yes’ opens the door to the ‘yes’ of Jesus: “I come to do your will’”….Indeed, “in Mary’s ‘yes’ there is the ‘yes’ of all of salvation history and there begins the ultimate ‘yes’ of man and of God: there God re-creates, as at the beginning with a ‘yes’ He made the earth and man, that beautiful creation: with this ‘yes’ I come to do your will and more wonderfully he re-creates the world, he re-creates us all”. Pope Francis.

2. Gratitude to Our Lady. Our fiat!

Dear brethren in Christ, as we prepare ourselves to commemorate the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, let us also thank Our Lady for her generous response to God’s plan −Fiat! (Be it done!) thus, making the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the wondrous reality of our salvation possible. With her correspondence, God became man, and we are introduced to a new life, a life of grace, that is why she is also our mother.

Let us also remember that from our generous response, a lot of things depend: yes, even the salvation of many souls.

Mother Mary, our profound filial gratitude. Help us give our “yes” to God. Through your loving maternal intercession, may we put Jesus at the center, not only of Christmas,, but also of our entire existence, as you have carried out with your Fiat! Be it done unto me according to your word.

DECEMBER 22. Mass readings.

DECEMBER 22.
Mass readings

READING I
1 Sm 1:24–28

In those days, Hannah brought Samuel with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and presented him at the temple of the Lord in Shiloh. After the boy’s father had sacrificed the young bull, Hannah, his mother, approached Eli and said: “Pardon, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request. Now I, in turn, give him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord.” She left Samuel there.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM

R My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
Exultávit cor meum in Dómino salvatóre meo.

“My heart exults in the Lord,
my horn is exalted in my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;
I rejoice in my victory.” R.

“The bows of the mighty are broken,
while the tottering gird on strength.
The well-fed hire themselves out for bread,
while the hungry batten on spoil.
The barren wife bears seven sons,
while the mother of many languishes.” R.

“The Lord puts to death and gives life;
he casts down to the nether world;
he raises up again.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich,
he humbles, he also exalts.” R.

“He raises the needy from the dust;
from the dung heap he lifts up the poor,
To seat them with nobles
and make a glorious throne their heritage.” R.

ALLELUIA

Come, King of all nations, source of your Church’s unity and faith: save all mankind, your own creation! 

Rex géntium et lapis  anguláris Ecclésiæ: veni, et salva hóminem quem de limo formásti.

GOSPEL

Lk 1:46–56

Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. for he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.”

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.

DECEMBER 20. Mass readings.

 

DECEMBER 20
Mass readings

READING I
Is 7:10–14

The Lord spoke to Ahaz: Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the Lord!” Then Isaiah said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM

R. Let the Lord enter; he is the king of glory.
Introíbit Dóminus: ipse est rex glóriæ.

The Lord’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers. R.

Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain. R.

He shall receive a blessing from the Lord,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob. R.

ALLELUIA

Come, Key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom: free the prisoners of darkness!

Clavis David, qui áperis portas ætérni regni: veni, et educ vinctum de domo cárceris sedéntem in ténebris.

GOSPEL
Lk 1:26–38

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.”

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

 

DECEMBER 19. Mass readings

 

 

DECEMBER 19
Mass readings

 

READING I: Jgs 13:2–7, 24–25a

There was a certain man from Zorah, of the clan of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren and had borne no children. An angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Though you are barren and have had no children, yet you will conceive and bear a son. Now, then, be careful to take no wine or strong drink and to eat nothing unclean. As for the son you will conceive and bear, no razor shall touch his head, for this boy is to be consecrated to God from the womb. It is he who will begin the deliverance of Israel from the power of the Philistines.”

The woman went and told her husband, “A man of God came to me; he had the appearance of an angel of God, terrible indeed. I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell me his name. But he said to me, ‘You will be with child and will bear a son. So take neither wine nor strong drink, and eat nothing unclean. For the boy shall be consecrated to God from the womb, until the day of his death.’”

The woman bore a son and named him Samson. The boy grew up and the Lord blessed him; the Spirit of the Lord stirred him.

 

RESPONSORIAL PSALM

R. My mouth shall be filled with your praise, and I will sing your glory!
Repleátur os meum laude, ut cantem glóriam tuam.

Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. R.

For you are my hope, O Lord;
my trust, O God, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;
from my mother’s womb you are my strength. R.

I will treat of the mighty works of the Lord;
O God, I will tell of your singular justice.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds. R.


ALLELUIA

Radix Iesse, stans in signum populórum:  veni ad liberándum nos, iam noli tardáre.
Come, Flower of Jesse’s stem, sign of God’s love for all his people: save us without delay!

GOSPEL

Lk 1:5–25

In the days of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah; his wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both were righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren and both were advanced in years.

Once when he was serving as priest in his division’s turn before God, according to the practice of the priestly service, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense. Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside at the hour of the incense offering, the angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him.

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He will drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb, and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers toward children and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to prepare a people fit for the Lord.”

Then Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel said to him in reply, “I am Gabriel, who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news. But now you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.” Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah and were amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary. But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He was gesturing to them but remained mute.

Then, when his days of ministry were completed, he went home.

After this time his wife Elizabeth conceived, and she went into seclusion for five months, saying, “So has the Lord done for me at a time when he has seen fit to take away my disgrace before others.”

DECEMBER 18 MASS READINGS

 

DECEMBER 18 MASS READINGS

READING I

Jer 23:5–8

Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David; as king he shall reign and govern wisely, he shall do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah shall be saved, Israel shall dwell in security. This is the name they give him: “The Lord our justice.”

Therefore, the days will come, says the Lord, when they shall no longer say, “As the Lord lives, who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt”; but rather, “As the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of the house of Israel up from the land of the north”— and from all the lands to which I banished them; they shall again live on their own land.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM

R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Florébit in diébus eius iustítia et abundántia pacis in ætérnum.

O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment. R


For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save. R.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous deeds.
And blessed forever be his glorious name;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory. R.

ALLELUIA

Come, Leader of ancient Israel, giver of the Law of Moses on Sinai: rescue us with your mighty power.
Dux domus Israel, qui Móysi in Sina legem dedísti: veni ad rediméndum nos in brácchio exténto.

GOSPEL

Mt 1:18–25

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.

3rd Sunday of Advent (B). “MY SPIRIT REJOICES IN GOD MY SAVIOR.”

3rd Sunday of Advent (B).
“MY SPIRIT REJOICES IN GOD MY SAVIOR.”

OUTLINE

  1. Joy, the central theme of the 3rd Sunday of Advent.
  2. The requisites of the joy which arises in the soul as a result of its union with God.

1.       Joy, the central theme of the 3rd Sunday of Advent.

Joy is the central theme which is characteristic and proper to the 3rd Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday. This joy is found precisely in and the result of the soul’s union with God as testified by today’s readings.

In the 1st reading (Is 61:1–2a, 10–11), the Prophet Isaiah exclaims:

“I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul; for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked with her jewels. As the earth brings forth its plants, and a garden makes its growth spring up, so will the Lord God make justice and praise spring up before all the nations.”

In the 2nd reading (1 Thes 5:16–24), St. Paul gives his advice:

“Brothers and sisters: Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything; retain what is good. Refrain from every kind of evil.”

The Responsorial Psalm (Lk 1, 46-50. 53-54.) gathers the Blessed Virgin Mary’s song of praise to God:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

And the Gospel narrates to us St. John the Baptist’s testimony for the coming of the Messiah and invitation to “make straight the paths for the Lord!”

2.       The requisites of the joy which arises in the soul as a result of its union with God.

Aside from the clarity of the source of this profound joy found in the soul’s union with God and His saving power, today’s liturgy also points to us the requisites and consequences of this joy if one wants to maintain it.

  • God brings joy to the humble: “for he has looked upon his lowly servant… The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.”
  • This joy is maintained and increases through prayer, through good works, in sum, through works of holiness which presupposes the avoidance of sin: “May the God of peace make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • Christian joy leads one to proclaim and share the Good News through one’s life testimony, for good is in itself contagious: “He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.”

Dear brethren in Christ, let us put all the means in order to be reunited with God, and may we also give testimony of this profound Christian joy by inviting others to seek God’s reconciliation through the Sacrament of Confession and by our daily struggle to carry out works of holiness: prayer, sacraments and works of mercy.

“O God, who see how your people faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity, enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvation, and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.” Opening prayer, Mass proper.

 

3rd Sunday of Advent (B) Mass readings.

3rd Sunday of Advent (B)
Mass readings.

Reflection in https://wp.me/p6k7Mv-35Z

LITURGY OF THE WORD

First reading: Book of Isaiah 61:1–2a, 10–11

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Lord and a day of vindication by our God.

I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul; for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked with her jewels. As the earth brings forth its plants, and a garden makes its growth spring up, so will the Lord God make justice and praise spring up before all the nations.

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

R/. Responsorial Psalm
R
My soul rejoices in my God.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: R.

The Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation. R.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
R.

Second reading: 1st Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians 5:16–24

Brothers and sisters: Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything; retain what is good. Refrain from every kind of evil.

May the God of peace make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will also accomplish it.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

ALLELUIA

The spirit of the Lord is upon me; he sent me to bring Good News to the poor.

GOSPEL

The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit..

A reading from the holy Gospel according John 1:6–8, 19–28

Glory to you, Lord.

A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.

And this is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?” He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, “I am not the Christ.” So they asked him, “What are you then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?” He said: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.” Some Pharisees were also sent. They asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

THE BEST INTERIOR PREPARATION FOR CHRISTMAS? RECONCILE WITH GOD THROUGH THE SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION.

THE BEST INTERIOR PREPARATION FOR CHRISTMAS? RECONCILE WITH GOD THROUGH THE SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION.

Above you have a meme guide for the examination of conscience which you could share, download and save, for the Sacrament of Confession.

May we give joy to the Most Holy Trinity during this season of Advent by acknowledging our sins, being contrite for them and ask God’s forgiveness in the Holy Sacrament of Confession which Jesus himself instituted as the ordinary means to receive God’s pardon and mercy.