Saturday, December 12, 2015
3rd SUNDAY OF ADVENT (Gaudete Sunday)
December 13, 2015 - 3rd SUNDAY OF ADVENT (Gaudete Sunday)
Cycle C, Rose/Violet
Zep 3:14 - 18a / Phil 4:4 – 7 / Lk 3:10 - 18
First Reading: Zep 3:14 - 18a
Cry out with joy, O daughter of Zion; rejoice, O people of Israel! Sing joyfully with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem!
Yahweh has lifted your sentence and has driven your enemies away. Yahweh, the King of Israel is with you; do not fear any misfortune.
On that day they will say to Jerusalem: Do not be afraid nor let your hands tremble, for Yahweh your God is within you, Yahweh, saving warrior. He will jump for joy on seeing you, for he has revived his love. For you he will cry out with joy, as you do in the days of the Feast.
I will drive away the evil I warned you about.
Second Reading: Phil 4:4 – 7
Rejoice in the Lord always. I say it again: rejoice and may everyone experience your gentle and understanding heart. The Lord is near: do not be anxious about anything. In everything resort to prayer and supplication together with thanksgiving and bring your requests before God. Then the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Gospel: Lk 3:10 - 18
The people asked John, "What are we to do?" And John answered, "If you have two coats, give one to the person who has none; and if you have food, do the same."
Even tax collectors came to be baptized, "Master, what must we do?" John said to them, "Collect no more than the fixed rate." People serving as soldiers asked John, "What about us? What are we to do?" And he answered, "Do not take anything by force or threaten the people by denouncing them falsely. Be content with your pay."
The people were wondering about John's identity, "Could he be the Messiah?" Then John answered them, "I baptize you with water, but the one who is coming will do much more: he will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. As for me, I am not worthy to untie his sandal. He comes with a winnowing fan to clear his threshing floor and gather the grain into his barn. But the chaff he will burn with fire that never goes out."
With these and many other words John announced the Good News to the people.
In anticipation of the approaching day of the Lord's birth. we are invited on this Third Sunday of Advent, "Gaudete Sunday," to rejoice. Not only is the celebration of the Lord's birth coming; we are indeed hoping for and expecting much more from the Lord.
In the Gospel reading John the Baptist tells the people, "I baptize with water, but the one who is coming will do much more: he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. As for me, I am not worthy to untie his sandal."
Our Lord who is to come is much greater than all the great people of the past. Compared with his cousin John, "the one who is coming will do much more." Whereas John baptized with water in a baptism of repentance, the Lord will baptize "with the Holy Spirit and fire." The Lord will come in might to surprise us because he will come in unexpected ways at unexpected times.
In the many and varied traditions of celebrating the birth of the Lord, we have many set ways and expectations on what to do and how to celebrate Christmas. And it would be good then to be sensitive, awake and ready for surprises from the Lord.
Our Lord invites us to do the unexpected. People are hesitant to share their belongings: our Lord told the people, "If someone sues you in court for your shirt, give your coat as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give when asked and do not turn your back on anyone who wants to borrow from you." (Mt 5: 40 – 42) "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you." (Mt 5: 44) "If you love those who love you, what is special about that? Do not even tax collectors do as much? And if you are friendly only to your friends, what is so exceptional about that? Do not even the pagans do as much?" (Mt 5: 46 – 47)
As the Lord surprises us, how can we also surprise others?
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
BENITA O TEEN TEN
CHRISTIAN EMMANUEL CHING
HAROLD S. MACASAQUIT
JAMES LIM YU
JESSICA HO GOTAMCO
IN MEMORIAM (+)
JAMES YAO E. HEONG
For the prayer intentions of Terry de la Rosa.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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