Sunday December 17
Third Sunday of Advent
Jesus – the hope of the ages
  • Isaiah 61:1-2,10-11
  • Luke 1:46-50,53-54
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
  • John 1:6-8,19-28

This Sunday is called Gaudete Sunday: Rejoicing Sunday. The readings for the third Sunday of Advent call us to rejoice and remind us that the coming of the Lord Jesus in the past, present, and future, is the reason for our rejoicing.

We are preparing our hearts and our lives for the great coming of the Lord. In a world full of chaos and confusion, where we are bombarded with the news of one disaster or another, it may seem hard to rejoice. Yet it is to a world covered in darkness that the Lord Jesus came. He is the hope of the ages.

In today’s First Reading we see Isaiah prophesy of the coming of the Messiah, the Redeemer who would bring healing, liberation and blessings of the Almighty God.

In the Responsorial Psalm we see Mother Mary magnify God in her song of praise, the Magnificat, as she sings: “My soul glorifies the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my Savior.”

In the Second Reading we hear St Paul calling us to rejoice always. All these people lived in dramatically worse conditions than we do today. Yet they were able to see the joy of the Lord surround them in the circumstances of their lives and were able to look to the future with hope as they fixed their eyes on the Giver of hope.

In today’s Gospel Proclamation Saint John the Baptist is portrayed as a man called by God for a specific mission. He denies that he is the Christ. He even states that he is not a prophet, rather that he is a voice crying out in the wilderness. He has come to prepare God’s people calling them to repentance, preparing them for the Messiah. He has come as a witness to the light. The Messiah was already among them, though they did not recognize him.

In this season of Advent as we prepare our hearts for the second coming of the Lord Jesus let us prepare ourselves through repentance and prayer allowing the Holy Spirit to minister to our inner being.

As we surrender to the Holy Spirit and allow him access to our inner-selves, he carries out his work of sanctification in our lives. We are healed and redeemed, set free from our bondages and the core of our being is made whole. Clothed in the garment of salvation, turmoil lifted, our hearts are filled with the joy of the Lord. We can witness to the Light of the world pointing to the Lord Jesus as the hope of the future and the reason to

Prayer: Abba Father, send your Holy Spirit to sanctify us. Open the eyes of our hearts to see the hope we have in you and fill us with your joy. Amen.

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