Third Week of Advent

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Third Week of Advent

The Third Sunday of Advent

We again light the candles of hope and love. Today we add the PINK (ROSE) candle of joy. Prophecy has been fulfilled. The long-awaited Messiah has come. Joy is the mood of all earnest seekers.

Advent 3 Sunday

Rejoice! Here is your God! As the feast of  Christmas draws closer, we are reminded that the Lord is with us even now. Jesus came to give sight to the blind and life to the dead. Christ's reign is among us through our deed of love and generosity. Let us not grow weary, but steady our hearts and rejoice, for the Lord is close at hand! 


Phil. 4:4-7
4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!
4:5 Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near.
4:6 Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.
4:7 Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and 
minds in Christ Jesus.

Prayer:
Jesus, you are the light of the world. May your light shine brightly so we can see you 
everywhere. Help us to spread your light and joy by giving freely and happily to all we meet.

Luke 1:46-47
1:46 And Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
1:47 my spirit rejoices in God my savior.

Carol: "Joy to the World."

Advent 3 Monday

As we move closer and closer to the day we are awaiting we pray:

Hasten, we ask you, O Lord come soon: and grant us the help of Thy heavenly power, so that they who trust in Your goodness may be relieved by the consolations of Your coming. 

Isa. 7:10-15

7:10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz:
7:11 Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
7:12 But Ahaz answered, "I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!"
7:13 Then he said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you 
also weary my God?
7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.
7:15 He shall be living on curds and honey by the time he learns to reject the bad and choose the good.

The message of this reading is that God's plan will not be thwarted, even if startling divine 
intervention is necessary. It is a message of hope for us to see that God's loving plan cannot ultimately be thwarted, even by the wicked and powerful. 

Ps. 25:1-2

25:1 Of David. I wait for you, O LORD; 
I lift up my soul to my God.
25:2 In you I trust; do not let me be disgraced; do not let my enemies gloat over me.

Advent 3 Tuesday

PATIENCE

In this reading of James, we see a reminder of the "end times, which is one of the themes of 
the Advent Season. We do not know whne the Lord is coming, but that is not cause either for 
impatience of complacency. The point of this reading is "patience". There is a warning here 
too: Do not complain (grumble). Let us not complain against one another. Rather remember our own shortcomings.

James 5:7-10

5:7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. 
5:8 You too must be patient. Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at 
hand.
5:9 Do not complain, brothers, about one another, that you may not be judged. Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
5:10 Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

Let us pray, Lord God, may we, your people, who look forward to the birthday of Christ experience the joy of salvation and celebrate that feast with love and thanksgiving.
72:3 That the mountains may yield their bounty for the people, and the hills great abundance.

Advent 3 Wednesday

Be a Servant

The first part of the reading from Isaiah is the passage that Jesus applied to himself in the 
synagogue of Nazareth in Luke's gospel. It is similar in style to four passages in Isaiah that 
are known as the Songs of the Suffering Servant; thus it is sometimes called the fifth song of the servant. The figure of the servant is important to us because Jesus has long been seen by Christians (and apparently Jesus saw himself) as fulfilling that role. The mission of the servant described here is certainly good news for the lowly , the brokenhearted and the 
prisoners. This reading is good news for the Lord speaks both of the wonders that God has 
already done and the wonders that are promised for the future -- an appropriate Advent message.

Isaiah 61: 1-2, 10-11


61:1 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 lowly, to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners,
61:2 To announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God, 
to comfort all who mourn; 
61:10 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.
61:11 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. 


Let us pray, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ever faithful to your promises and ever close to 
your Church: the earth rejoices in hope of the Savior's coming and looks forward with longing 
to his return at the end of time. Prepare our hearts and remove the sadness that hinders us 
from feeling the joy and hope which his presence will bestow.

Ps.72:18  Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wonderful deeds.

Advent 3 Thursday

Be a Witness

The reading is from the Gospel of John. The beginning will be recognized by some from 
pre-Vatican II as the "last Gospel" of the Mass. The verses which follow establish the role of 
John the Baptist as a witness to Jesus and insist that he is not the light but one who testifies to the light. John is clearly important --he was sent by God-- but his is important precisely as a witness. John insists that he is neither the Messiah, nor Elijah nor "the prophet". The Jews expected a Messiah, an anointed servant of God. They also expected Elijah to return before the "Day of the Lord", a day of judgment. 


John 1:6-8,19-28

1:6 A man named John was sent from God.
1:7 He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.
1:8 He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.
1:19 And this is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and 
Levites (to him) to ask him, "Who are you?"
1:20 he admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, "I am not the Messiah."
1:21 So they asked him, "What are you then? Are you Elijah?" * And he said, "I am not." "Are 
you the Prophet?" He answered, "No."
1:22 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?"
1:23 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."
1:24 Some Pharisees were also sent.
1:25 They asked him, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet?"
1:26 John answered them, "I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
1:27 the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie."
1:28 This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Let us pray, Father in heaven, the day draws near when the glory of your Son will make radiant the night of the waiting world. May the lure of greed not impede us from the joy which moves the hearts of those who seek him. May the darkness not blind us to the vision of wisdom which fills the minds of those who find him.

Ps. 71:16 I will speak of the mighty works of the Lord; O GOD, I will tell of your singular justice.

Advent 3 Friday

Prepare the Way

The reading from the Gospel of Matthew says a great deal about Advent: that we are to be like 
John and prepare the way for the coming of Jesus with determination and hope. We also can expect some unpleasant consequences of being truly Christian--not imprisonment, perhaps, but something less than immediate and universal acceptance in society. But Jesus' praise of John and his confirmation of the signs of the approaching kingdom of God give us the 
strength to take John as our model in suffering hardships. There is elation in Jesus' voice as 
He points out that Isaiah's predictions are coming true. 

Matthew 11:2-11

11:2 When John heard in prison of the works of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to him 11:3 with this question, "Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?"        11:4 Jesus said to them in reply, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: 11:5 the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead  are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
11:6 And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me."
11:7 As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, "What did you 
go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?
11:8 Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
11:9 Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
11:10 This is the one about whom it is written: 
'Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.'
11:11 Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than 
John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Let us pray, When He humbled himself to come among us as a man, he fulfilled the plan you formed long ago and opened for us the way to salvation. Now we watch for the day, hoping 
that the salvation promised us will be ours when Christ our Lord will come in His glory.

Ps.24:1 A psalm of David. 
The earth is the LORD'S and all it holds, 
the world and those who live there.

Advent 3 Saturday

Spiritual Joy

In Luke's Gospel we again have the story of John the Baptist as he has come before the 
Savior. We are invited to spiritual joy, the the Lord is near. As in Paul to Philippians: Rejoice 
in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known to all men: for the Lord is near. Have no anxiety, but in everything, by prayer let your petitions be made known to God. And may the peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Luke 3:1-6

3:1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of 
Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of 
Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
3:2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the 
son of Zechariah in the desert.
3:3 He went throughout (the) whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance 
for the forgiveness of sins,
3:4 as it is written in the book of the words of the 
prophet Isaiah: 
"A voice of one crying out in the desert: 
'Prepare the way of the Lord, 
make straight his paths.
3:5 Every valley shall be filled 
and every mountain and hill shall be made low. 
The winding roads shall be made straight, 
and the rough ways made smooth,
3:6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"


Let us pray, We believe that the Son of God once came to us; we look for him to come again. 
May His coming bring us the light of His holiness and free us with His blessings.

Ps.33:12 Happy the nation whose God is the LORD, 
the people chosen as his very own.
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