Sunday December 14, 2014
Third Sunday of Advent
The Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, is unique among the four weeks. On the Advent wreath, this is the one week that is pink instead of purple. You might also see the liturgical vestments change color to rose, but most parishes don’t invest in a color that would only be used two Sundays in the year. It’s unique color shows us the change of tone for the season.
Isaiah 61:1-2A, 10-11
This week’s first reading from the prophet Isaiah is a wonderful introduction to Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means rejoice, and this is the central message of this reading. This reading is happening during the difficult transition of return to the people to their homeland after their time in the Babylonian exile. Because it had been several generations since they had lived in their land, it was foreign to them and they encountered many difficult challenges.
In our own live, we could all use more hope. The season of Advent is the season that revives our hearts in the faith and hope that our Lord is in charge, and He promises us what no one else can give.
LK 1:46-48, 49-50, 53-54
R/ (Is 61:10b) My soul rejoices in my God.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
This week’s second reading from St Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians is a letter of encouragement to a community he felt very close to his heart. The sentences in this reading are a little choppy, and this tells us that St Paul was probably writing this in a hurry to try and end it so it could be sent to the Thessalonian church.
This is one of those readings that people like putting on posters and inscription. As we mark Gaudete Sunday, we celebrate in rejoicing because the time is near for Our Lord’s arrival. He is the source of all our joy, and deserving of our constant thanks and praise. Let this reading be an inspiration in our preparation for Christmas
Isaiah 61:1 (CITED IN LK 4:18)
- Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
John 1:6-8, 19-28
This week’s Gospel from St John the Evangelist takes again to St John the Baptist. Last week we heard some about John the Baptist from St Mark and it spoke very highly of him. In this reading, the people hold him to very high esteem, but have questions about his position and rank. They even ask if he is Elijah, which is considered one of the highest prophets. John the Baptist is quick to leave no room for confusion and clarifies that he will always be obedient and subject to Christ like the rest of us.
Christmas is just around the corner, but we still have a short while of Advent left. As we rejoice this Sunday, we can find peace that the Lord is coming, He is leading, and we can trust in Him.
- In today’s Gospel the people press John the Baptist for an answer. “Who are you? … Are you the Prophet?” John answers that he is not but that the Messiah was there and people did not recognize him. What outward signs or actions show others clearly that you follow Jesus, the Messiah?