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Advent Day 14 ~ Rejoice! The Lord is near!


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Third Sunday of Advent

In our Catholic liturgical calendar this is “Gaudete Sunday — the Sunday of Joy.    We’re half way through Advent and the vestment color is Rose, rather than purple, the color of penitence.  So, we see the celebrant in rose vestments.

This is supposed to be a joyful time of year but . . . some us don’t see things clearly, or can’t speak up for ourselves or are disabled.  some of us are afraid / disillusioned / confused / depressed / lonely / weak-kneed and in need of a good old-fashioned infusion of hope and joy, so . . .

Today’s first reading from Isaiah 61:1-2.10 sums up the joyful, hopeful mood of  this third Advent Sunday: 

The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor,
to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and release to the prisoners,
to announce a year of favor from the LORD
and a day of vindication by our God.

I rejoice heartily in the LORD,
in my God is the joy of my soul;

In the Gospel of John today, the Jews send priests and Levites to ask John the Baptist if he is Elijah or the prophet.

He tells them . . . “I am the voice crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord.”   

John was simply the sign-post, pointing the way toward Christ.  He was faithful even unto imprisonment and death to simply be the messenger.

My spiritual director some time ago suggested I pray to John the Baptist, and so I do so now . .  .

O John, how lovingly you served your Lord.

I am dumbfounded at my own lack of humility,  

my refusal to serve, my paltriness when I do serve.  

You inspire me, even in my later years to wait upon my God to act in my life,

to wait for him to do new things.  

Thank you, John, for your service-unto-death;

ask for me the grace, the strength and the courage to also serve my Lord unto the end of my days.  

Amen.

Here are today’s Mass readings, if you’d like them. Click here.

To get you in a joyful mood I have a surprise for you ~ the hallelujah Chorus sung in a shopping mall during lunch by opera singers mingled with the munchers. This is truly amazing and lots of fun.    Click here. Turn up your speakers and enter full screen. Turn up your speakers and enter full screen.

(With our joyful gratitude to Alphabet photography.)

And here are all the of the Readings for today’s Mass, if you’d like those as well. Click here.

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

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