Liturgy Alive

The liturgical calendar 2020

3rd Sunday of Advent

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Sunday December 13 

Third Sunday of Advent

1. Exult for Joy

2. The One You Do Not Know

Greeting (from the second reading)

May the God of peace make you perfect and holy,
and keep you sound and blameless
for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rejoice, for the Lord is with you. R/ And also with you.

Introduction

  1. Exult for Joy

How come, with all the good things the Lord gives us, that so often we are sad, so joyless? We have one another, we have our faith, we have Jesus as our companion in life, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us, we have a Father in heaven who cares. Rejoice, the Lord is near. Rejoice, the Lord is here. Rejoice, here with us is the Lord Jesus. Now with him we can give proper thanks to our Father.

  1. The One You Do Not Know

Do you want to know Jesus? Do you want to meet him today? Encounter him in people, accompany them on the road of life, especially the poor, the broken-hearted, the downtrodden and those who are not free. Jesus identifies with them. In them we find Jesus. Then he will no longer remain an unknown, remote person to us. We will then be with Jesus, and Jesus with us. 

Penitential Act

Too often we are sad and thankless.
We now ask the good Lord to forgive us.
(pause)
Lord Jesus, you have brought us
the joy of complete forgiveness:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, you keep sharing with us
the Good News of the life and the love of God:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you prepare us
for a joy that will last
and that no one can take away from us:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Have mercy on us, Lord,
forgive us all our sins
and turn our sadness into joy.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

Opening Prayer

Let us pray that we may recognize the Lord
when he comes among us
(pause)
Lord God, our Father,
no one has ever seen you
but you have shown yourself to us
in your beloved Son Jesus Christ.
Help us to recognize his face
in the poor and the humble.
Do not allow us to overlook him
in the broken-hearted and the weak.
Let the Holy Spirit give us the courage
to bring his good news of hope and joy
to all who wait for him and need him,
whether they know it or not.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen. 

First Reading: I Rejoice, for God Is Near to the Humble

To the poor, the broken-hearted, people imprisoned in their fears, the prophet announces in the name of God: Rejoice, salvation is coming. God is with you. We hear, first the words of the prophet, then the response of the people. 

Reading 1: IS 61:1-2A, 10-11

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 broken-hearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and release to the prisoners,
to announce a year of favour 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;
for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation
and wrapped me in a mantle of justice,
like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem,
like a bride bedecked with her jewels.
As the earth brings forth its plants,
and a garden makes its growth spring up,
so will the Lord GOD make justice and praise
spring up before all the nations.

Responsorial Psalm LK 1:46-48, 49-50, 53-54

(Is 61:10b) My soul rejoices in my God.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
R. My soul rejoices in my God.
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
R. My soul rejoices in my God.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
R. My soul rejoices in my God.

Second Reading: Rejoice: The Lord Is Coming

Paul asks his Christians to be joyful and to prepare for the coming of the Lord by their holy Christian living.

Reading 2: 1 THES 5:16-24

Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.
In all circumstances give thanks,
for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
Do not quench the Spirit.
Do not despise prophetic utterances.
Test everything; retain what is good.
Refrain from every kind of evil.

May the God of peace make you perfectly holy
and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body,
be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The one who calls you is faithful,
and he will also accomplish it.

Alleluia: IS 61:1 (CITED IN LK 4:18)

Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel: Among You Stands He Whom You Do Not Know

John the Baptist is God’s messenger of Good News to the people who are humble enough to expect God’s help; the Savior is already here, but you have not recognized him, says John. 

Gospel: JN 1:6-8, 19-28

A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.

And this is the testimony of John.
When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests
and Levites to him
to ask him, “Who are you?”
He admitted and did not deny it,
but admitted, “I am not the Christ.”
So they asked him,
“What are you then? Are you Elijah?”
And he said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
So they said to him,
“Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?
What do you have to say for yourself?”
He said:
“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘make straight the way of the Lord,'”

as Isaiah the prophet said.”
Some Pharisees were also sent.
They asked him,
“Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John answered them,
“I baptize with water;
but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,
where John was baptizing.

 

Commentary

Be Attentive and Cheerful

Today the Church celebrates the Guadete Sunday or Rejoice Sunday, marking the midpoint of the season of advent. The Latin term Gaudete stands for “rejoice”. Half way through the advent, the Church calls us to rejoice always and be prepared because the Lord’s coming is imminent. The Word of God calls on us for immediate preparations.

How do we prepare for welcoming the Lord who comes to this world? John the Baptist was also asked a very similar question. When in the desert he spoke of conversion, those who came to hear him wanted to verify with him his identity: Who are you?

John knew perfectly well that his mission was to point to the one who was to come. Hence, he identified himself as a mere voice in the desert and refuses to give even his own name. A voice has only a momentary existence. It vanishes after giving out the message. The message remains and not the voice. In effect, John was saying, “Do not break your head on my identity, rather pay attention to the message.”

John invited everyone to raise their eyes, to cleanse their gaze to be able to see on the horizon the one who was coming to liberate them. His call is precisely to cleanse one's eyes to see if there is a need for conversion, to change one's life and thus to prepare one’s heart to welcome the one who has to come.

The first two readings repeat the theme of joy. We are asked to rejoice, to live joyfully and in peace. Being Joyful is an essential characteristic of our preparation for receiving the Lord.

Justice, brotherhood, compassion, and joy must characterize the Christian community and the Church itself. Our message is a message of hope of God's salvation for all. And that is what we need to tell the people. Care should be taken not to place ourselves at the center of our parish, community or area of ministry, but to facilitate the encounter with the Lord who comes into our lives.

From this season of advent on, can we resolve to make every sign of injustice and hatred disappear from our lives? We commit ourselves to life and for life, against all the unjust deaths.

For your reflection

What does it mean to be fair in our daily lives? What can we share with others? Does our community live in the joy of waiting? Do I know how to communicate joy and hope to those who live with me?

 

Intercessions

While we wait for the fuller coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us recognize him already present in our hope and in our love. Let us ask him to bring before his Father the needs and the cares of his people as we pray:

R/ Come, Lord, stay with us.

–   Lord, we pray for the Catholic Church and for all Christian Churches. May all bear witness to your presence by their concern for justice and peace, their search for unity and their respect for consciences, and above all by their hope in your future, we pray:

R/ Come, Lord, stay with us.

–   Lord, we pray for all Christians. May they be always people of joy, happy and serene even in the tensions of life, for you have brought us forgiveness and mercy and you let us live in your love. Let our joy be contagious, we pray:

R/ Come, Lord, stay with us.

–   Lord, we pray for all who sincerely seek you. Like you, may they bring freedom to prisoners, food and drink to the needy. Let them speak words of encouragement to the broken-hearted and in this way proclaim the good news to the poor, we pray:

R/ Come, Lord, stay with us.

–   Lord, we pray for ourselves. Let us be a community of faith and hope, of compassion, mutual respect and service, of unity and sharing, where each feels responsible for the others. May this show people that you are alive among us, we pray:

R/ Come, Lord, stay with us.

Come, stay with us, Lord, and let nothing come between you and us, between us and people. Keep us in your love now and for ever. R/ Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts

God our Father,
we welcome your Son in our midst
with simple gifts of bread and wine,
your present to us, and also the fruit
of rain and sunshine and the work of our hands.
Let the Spirit of your Son be also upon us
to help us welcome one another
with the bread and the love we share
and with the wine of our joy.
Let this be the sacrifice we offer you today
together with your Son in our midst,
Jesus Christ, our Lord for ever and ever. R/ Amen.

Before the Eucharistic Prayer

Let us with joy give thanks to the Father with Jesus, his Son, already in our midst.

Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray to God our Father
for the coming of his Son
and of his kingdom: R/ Our Father… 

Prayer for Peace

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles:
I leave you peace, my peace I give you.
But we are each seeking our own little peace
at the expense of others;
peace is often on our lips,
but we do not know how to live in peace.
Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church,
and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom
where you live for ever and ever. R/ Amen. 

Invitation to Communion

Happy are we to be invited
to the meal of joy of the Lord.
For this is the Savior announced by the Baptist,
he who is in our midst
and whom we do not always recognize,
Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Lord, I am not worthy…

Prayer after Communion

God our Father,
we thank you for the joy of this Eucharist.
You have given us a glimpse
of him, we do not know well,
Jesus Christ, your Son.
Let him stay with us now in everyday life
and help us to know him better
by learning to recognize him
in the people around us,
especially in the poor and the humble,
and by doing for one another
what he did and still does for us.
We ask you this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.

Blessing

In this Eucharist we heard the words of the prophet:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me;
he sent me to bring the Good News to the poor.”
At the beginning of this preaching,
Jesus uses the same words about himself.
We share in his mission:
we have to make him visible
in the Church and in the world of today
by our concern for the poor and the humble.
May we carry out this task with joy,
and with the blessing of almighty God:
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.

May the Lord go with you wherever you go. R/ Thanks be to God.

Liturgical Calendar 2021

Liturgical Calendar 2020
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