Liturgical Calendar – Advent 3
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
The Season of Advent.
Sunday 11th December: Third Sunday of Advent. (B)
Today we reach the half way point of Advent. Traditionally, today is called ‘Gaudete’ Sunday which means a day for rejoicing, rejoicing because the day of the Lord’s coming is getting closer all the time.
Isaiah’s message in the first reading is the one which Jesus himself uses when he begins his public ministry. It is a message of hope and joy.
St. Paul, in the second reading, tells the Thessalonians how they are to live their lives as they await the second coming.
Although John the Baptist was the focus of last week’s Gospel again today he is at its centre. This time his actions are described bySt. John. John declares that he is not the saviour. The Saviour is already present among the people although they do not recognise him.
Monday 12th December: Monday in the third week of Advent. Today we hear two oracles from the Book of Numbers. They are very consoling because they speak of a great leader who is to come to the house ofIsrael. The people are to have an air expectancy for their saviour.
In the Gospel, we still hear of John the Baptist and his work of preparing the way for the Messiah. If the chief priests and elders had read and accepted the scriptures properly, they would recognise Jesus for who he was and they would know about John’s mission to prepare the way for him.
Tuesday 13th December: Memorial of St. Lucy.
Very little is known about St. Lucy except that she was martyred inSyracuse about the year 304. A Greek inscription was found there in 1894 and testifies to the devotion to St. Lucy which was in existence by the end of the fourth century. Lucy had convinced her mother to give the money that had been saved for her dowry to the poor. Her fiancé was so angry he had her brought before the court. She was tortured severely but continued to give witness to Christ and to pray. She died after receiving Holy Viaticum. Her remains are venerated inVenice and she is known as the patroness of those who suffer afflictions of the eyes.
Wednesday 14th December: Memorial of St. John of the Cross.
The great Spanish mystic was born in 1542 in theprovinceofOld castile. He became a Carmelite friar and was ordained a priest at the age of twenty-five. He was a close associate of St. Teresa ofAvilain her great work of reform and renewal within the Carmelite order. Together, they tried to re-establish among the nuns and friars the Carmelite ideal. As a result,St. Johnsuffered much opposition and persecution from with the Order. He was led through suffering and prayer to closer union with God. He wrote many great works of spirituality including ‘The Dark Night of the Soul’ in which he reflects on the times when it is difficult to pray. He died in 1591.
Thursday 15th December: Thursday in the third week of Advent.
We return to Isaiah and hear more words of joy and consolation. Do not be afraid. God’s love will never leave you. That is the message the Messiah will bring you, a message we can apply to our own lives as Christmas approaches.
Jesus again speaks of John and describes him as being greater than any of the prophets. He looked forward to greeting the Messiah. He is the one preparing the way.
Friday 16th December: Friday in the third week of Advent.
Isaiah again reminds his people that salvation is to come soon. Therefore, they must act with integrity and justice. They will be united in the temple.
John was there to prepare the way for Jesus who comes to carry out the works of his Father. Let us see John, the lamp alight and burning, as we ,like him, look forward to the coming of Jesus next week.
Saturday 17th December: Advent Weekday 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 ofIsrael 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 mouth of the Most High.
You fill the universe and hold all things together
In a strong but gentle manner.
O come to teach us the way of truth.