3rd Sunday of Advent (a)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
The Season of Advent (a)
Weekday Readings (1)
Sunday 11th December: 3rd Sunday of Advent (a)
In the first reading, Isaiah uses the image of the desert, made fertile by rain, to communicate the hope that God would restore his people, crushed by their misfortunes. One day God will be seen on earth and bring salvation to his people.
The second reading, from St. James, urges us to live in peace with each other so that we will ready to meet the Lord when he comes again.
In the Gospel passage from St. Matthew, we read how Jesus fulfils the prophecy of Isaiah, strengthens John’s faith and reminds us of the Kingdom of heaven, our final home, hopefully.
Monday 12th December: Weekday of Advent.
The first reading comes from the Book of Numbers. It speaks of a great leader who is to come to the house of Israel. This is what the people of Israel must hope for.
The Gospel passage still presents us with John the Baptist and his task of preparing the people to welcome the Messiah. Jesus condemns the authorities for their unwillingness to listen to what he says and to watch what he is doing.
Tuesday 13th December: Memorial of St. Lucy.
Very little is known about St. Lucy except that she was martyred in Syracuse in Sicily. A Greek inscription found there in 1894 testifies to the devotion to the saint from at least the 4th century. The account of her martyrdom states that she wanted to consecrate herself to God and decided to give the money allocated for her dowry to the poor. Her angry fiancé brought her to court where she was tortured and finally executed in 304 because she would not give up her faith.
Wednesday 14th December: Memorial of St. John of the Cross..
The great Spanish mystic was born in 1542 in Spain. From his early years he wanted to become a monk and eventually he joined the Carmelites and studied at Salamanca in Spain. He worked with Teresa of Avila to reform the order and this caused him much suffering. He believed and practised contemplative prayer. In his classic ‘The Dark Night of the Soul’ he writes of the times when he lost the taste for prayer and became spiritually dry. He is a patron for us when we find it difficult to pray. He died in 1591
Thursday 15th December: Weekday of Advent.
Isaiah brings more words of great joy and comfort – do not be afraid but shout for joy because the savious is coming to you.His love will never end. We can apply this meassage directly to ourselves as we look forward to Christmas.
Jesus speaks of John the Baptist again, describing him as being greater than any of the prophets who had gone before him. He is the one called to be the messenger who prepares the way.
Friday 16th December: Weekday of Advent.
Isaiah continues his these of reminding the people that salvation is soon to come so they must prepare by living lives marked with justice and integrity.
We are reminded again that John was there to prepare the way for Jesys. He comes to carry out the works and words of the Father.
Saturday 17th December: Weekday of Advent by date.
These are special days now when the thought of the expected Messiah grows in intensity. The kingship will never pass from the house of Jacob into which Jesus will be born. Each of these last days of Advent has a special short prayer or antiphon appealing to the Lord to come. These are known as the ‘O’ antiphons.
This week we also try to understand how Our Lady felt as she looked forward to the birth of her son. The people of Israel were very conscious of their family tree, their genealogy. Today we have the genealogy for Jesus, traced through Joseph back via David to Abraham, the father of the chosen people.
you come forth from the most high,
You fill the universe and hold all things together
In a strong and gentle manner.
To teach us the way of truth.