Friday, December 11, 2009

Preparing for the Mass - December 13, 2009

The Third Sunday in Advent (Cycle C)
Gaudete Sunday   
Gaudete = Rejoice!
 Since this is the only occasion in the three-year cycle when a passage from Zephaniah is read, a few words about this minor prophet would be in order.
Zephaniah’s prophetic activity coincided with the earlier part of Josiah’s reign (ca. 640-630 B.C.). He was probably located at Jerusalem. His prophecies are almost exclusively predictions of judgment. MORE

 This week we depart from the usual practice of drawing upon the psalter for the responsorial reading and instead have an arrangement of the first song of Isaiah.
 This reading was the traditional one for the third Sunday of Advent and gave it the name “Gaudete Sunday.”

Painting: Francesco Bassano’s“John the Baptist, Preaching”, 1570 . . . . Now the people were filled with expectation,  and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ.  John answered them all, saying, 
“I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. . . . "  This is one of my son's favorite Bible verses!

Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ (Lk 3:15)

This Third Sunday of Advent is sometimes called "Gaudete" Sunday. This is Latin for "Rejoice!" It comes from the first word of Saint Paul's letter for this Sunday. Paul reminds the Philippians that they should not merely rejoice that the Lord is near, and then go about their everyday business. They must also pray, be grateful, place their trust in God, and be unselfish in their relationships with others. Then they will experience "the peace of God." Your Priests will be wearing beautiful rose colored vestments because it is Gaudete Sunday!

Now for us big kids: 

Here is some food for thought. After reflecting on the complete Gospel reading and hearing John, "the voice crying in the wilderness," think of the world today. Human nature has not changed. Greed, selfishness and abuse of power and position are still with us. Who among us will be the "voice crying out in the wilderness"? Who among us will call himself and others to conversion? Who will live fully the Good News? Who will share the Good News of Jesus and in doing so, invite others by prayer, words and/or example to do the same?

Reflections for this Sunday can be found at The Center for Liturgy Sunday.

May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
a blessing from the heart -- from me to you -- inspired by Phil 4:7


Abbey said...

As I read the last paragraph, I suddenly was aking myself, "am I the voice crying out in the wilderness, calling all to conversion, and live the Good News fully?" Dearest Father in heaven, am I strong enough?

I found something here today that stirs a lot of thought and prayer inside myself, about who I am and what I want to be and do In His Name.

Thank you for such a lovely post.


Soutenus said...

Your words resonate with my own.
A dear friend reminds me (a lot) that we cannot be strong enough . . . to not even consider that we are . . . without God's graces.

I am so glad very grateful for the sacraments that God has given us and for all the angels and saints He has allowed to help us.

Your words pierce right to the heart of the matter.
I also ponder - Who am I for God. What does He want me to be and do for Him? AND, dear Lord help me be that which You want.

Thanks for dropping in!

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