3rd Sunday of Advent Year B
Rejoice in the Lord always!
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.
This Sunday’s readings are full of joy and hope, for we have a glimpse of the joy of our approaching redemption.
Isaiah, in the First Reading, announces the redemption of Jerusalem, clothed in the bridal robes of justice and integrity. Jesus quoted this text to describe his mission, and it also prefigured Mary’s role in our salvation.
The Responsorial Psalm is the song of Mary’s Magnificat. It is a joyful hymn of praise to God for his holiness, his mercy and his faithfulness in bringing the salvation promised to his people.
St Paul’s sentiments in the Second Reading echo this. He encourages the Thessalonians – and us – to be happy, to pray constantly, to give thanks to God and to be open to the Spirit as we wait for the coming of the Lord. God has called us, and he will not fail us.
This Sunday, we again meet John the Baptist in the Gospel. John the Evangelist insists on the Baptist’s role as witness to the light. He is a witness, a voice, but not the Messiah. The Messiah is here, amongst us, but we do not know him.
In this year’s very short Advent season, let us benefit to the full this week, as we listen to all the voices that witness to Christ unknown among us.
He has sent me to bring good news to the poor. First Reading
For all things give thanks to God. Second Reading
John came as a witness, to speak for the light. Gospel
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
ever faithful to your promises and ever close to your Church:
the earth rejoices in the hope of the Saviour’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, for he is Lord for ever and ever. Old Opening Prayer
This week’s texts if you want to reflect further
Isaiah 61: 1–2, 10–11; Psalm: Luke 1: 46–50, 53–54; 1 Thessalonians 5:16–24; John 1: 6–8, 19–28