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Advent: December 12th

Third Sunday of Advent


December 12, 2010 (Readings on USCCB website)


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. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


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Old Calendar: Third Sunday of Advent; Gaudete Sunday

"Rejoice: the Lord is nigh." As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Savior means for us. The great joy of Christians is to see the day drawing nigh when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead them into His kingdom. The oft-repeated Veni ("Come") of Advent is an echo not only of the prophets but also of the conclusion of the Apocalypse of St. John: "Come, Lord Jesus," the last words of the New Testament.

Today is known as Gaudete Sunday. The term Gaudete refers to the first word of the Entrance Antiphon, "Rejoice". Rose vestments are worn to emphasize our joy that Christmas is near, and we also light the rose candle on our Advent wreath.

Jesse Tree ~ Jonah

The Third Sunday of Advent
Once again the central figure of the Advent Liturgy is St John the Baptist. After he had preached the Baptism of conversion and penance, he was arrested due to his public denunciation against the immorality of the time. He invites everyone to be patient and await the arrival of the Messiah who will come to establish a new kingdom. In fact, whilst he was in prison, he sent someone to ask Jesus if it is He ‘who is the one to come or shall we look for another?’(Mt 11: 3) Jesus responds by emphasizing the fruits of His mission which were manifested in His preaching and in the signs of healing and recovery: ‘the blind see again, and the lame walk, those suffering from virulent skin-diseases are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.’ (Mt 11: 5) He knew that John, knowing the scriptures, would recognize through these signs that the ‘One who will come’ is already here. The prophets had foretold that these signs would accompany Him: ‘Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed, then the lame will leap like a deer’ (Is 35: 6) all ‘will [then] see the glory of Yahweh, the splendour of our God.’(Is 35: 2) Everyone is invited to journey, to found our lives on the ‘Holy Road’. It is exactly on this ‘Road’ that we encounter the Lord Jesus, who is ‘the way’ and there, where we will find our ‘joy and happiness’. We must therefore be confident because God’s salvation manifests itself in fullness: ‘Here is your God; He is coming to save you’ (Is 35: 4) and also to be patient and uncomplaining, or better yet to revitalize our hearts ‘because the Lord's coming will be soon’ (James 5: 8).

‘O people in wait! Those who await you will not be disappointed (cf Ps 24:3). Our Father’s longed for you; all the just from the beginning of the world had hoped in you and were not confounded (cf Ps 21: 6). Already, your mercy was received in the heart of your temple (cf Ps 47: 1), where joyous choirs sing your praises: ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’ (cf Ps 117:26; Mt 21: 9). I have tirelessly waited for the Lord and He has turned His gaze towards me’ (Ps 39: 2). Then recognizing the Divine Master in His fleshy humility they said; ‘See this is our God in who we wait; He will save us! He is the Lord we have awaited Him in fullness and we exult and rejoice in His salvation.’ (Is 25: 9).’ St Hilary of Poitiers Sermon in Advent I)

In this confident expectation, the Virgin Mary sustains us as she is the mother of expectation and hope who gave significance to our patience which has not been disappointed. Thanks to Her, our hope is transformed into salvation; our eyes have seen God’s salvation because She was willing to become the privileged channel through which the Lord was pleased to manifest Himself to humanity.

This joy, invisibly present within us, encourages us to journey on with confidence. A model and support of this deep joy is the Virgin Mary, through whom we were given the Infant Jesus. May She, a faithful disciple of her Son, obtain for us the grace of living this liturgical season alert and hardworking, while we wait. Amen! 1

1 Pope Benedict XVI Celebration of the First Vespers of Advent, St Peters Basilica 28 November 2009

From the Congregation for the Clergy

Today is Day One of the Christmas Novena.