Gaudete Sunday – the Third Sunday of Advent – 17 December 2017
“The Lord is at hand: come, let us adore him.”
Our week begins with “Gaudete Sunday.” Gaudete means “rejoice” in Latin. It comes from the first word of the Entrance antiphon on Sunday. The spirit of joy that begins this week comes from the words of Paul, “The Lord is near.” This joyful spirit is marked by the third candle of our Advent wreath, which is rose coloured, and the rose coloured vestments often used at the Eucharist.
The second part of Advent begins on 17 December each year. For the last eight days before Christmas, the plan of the readings changes. The first readings are still from the prophesies but now the gospels are from the infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke. We read the stories of faithful women and men who prepared the way for our salvation. We enter into the story of how Jesus’ life began. These stories are filled with hints of what His life will mean for us. Faith and generosity overcome impossibility. Poverty and persecution reveal glory.
“My being proclaims
the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit finds joy
in God my saviour,
For he has looked upon
his servant in her lowliness;
all ages to come shall
call me blessed.
God who is mighty
has done great things for me,
holy is his name;
His mercy is from age to age
on those who fear him.
He has shown
might with his arm;
he has confused the proud
in their inmost thoughts.
He has deposed the mighty
from their thrones
and raised the lowly
to high places.
The hungry he has given
every good thing,
while the rich
he has sent empty away.
He has upheld Israel his servant,
ever mindful of his mercy;
Even as he promised our fathers,
promised Abraham and
his descendants forever.”
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.
In all circumstances give thanks…1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
We begin this third week of Advent asking to feel the joy
that comes from knowing our Lord’s coming to us is near.
In these precious days ahead, we are praying, longing, hoping
in the background of our everyday lives.
His mission is to the poor, the brokenhearted, prisoners and captives.
His mission is for us.
It is “good news,” full of healing, liberty and release.
We can smile today as we imagine the freedom He has won for us
and how liberating it will be to live it, with Him, for others.
It is right to give our God thanks and praise.
The one who calls you is faithful,
and he will also accomplish it… 1 Thessalonians 5:24
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. Isaiah 61:19-11
Today’s Daily Reflection – Intercessions:
To God our Father, who has given us the grace
to wait in graceful hope for the revelation of
our Lord Jesus Christ, let us make our prayer:
Show us your mercy, Lord.
Sanctify us in mind and body,
– keep us without sin until the coming of Your Son.
Make us walk this day in holiness,
– and live upright and devout lives in this world.
May we be clothed in our Lord Jesus Christ,
– and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Lord, help us to stand watchful and ready,
– until Your Son is revealed in all His glory.
You came forth from the mouth of the Most High
and reaching from beginning to end,
You ordered all things mightily and sweetly.
Come and teach us the way of prudence
I lift my heart up to You, Lord,
to thank You for the blessings
You shower on me each day.
You are the ‘joy of my soul.’
I know that in Your great love,
I am held and protected by You.
I pray and listen to the good news You send;
I ask and feel the healing.
I am freed by You
from the things in this world
that let me hide from You.
I rejoice, I rejoice, down to my soul.
Help me to prepare my heart
to be open and able to receive Your immense love.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.