December 17, 2017


December 17, 2017:  Third Sunday of Advent = Gaudete Sunday

See over a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
Thanks to guest dresser Sid

For the gospel
Magnificat settings (for canticle)
For future celebrations
Pope Francis
Angelus:  Today's liturgy invites us to grasp the spirit of joy in our vigilant preparing of the Lord's way.  Paul invites us to prepare for the Lord's coming with joy, prayer, and thanksgiving:
Joy:  "Always be happy":  always remain in joy, even when things don't go as we want.  Anxieties, difficulties and sufferings permeate our lives, and reality seems inhospitable and arid.  But our joy rests on the certainty that this desert is inhabited:  "Among you there is one you don't know":  Jesus, whom the Father sent "to bring good news to the poor, bind wounds, and proclaim freedom, release, and grace."  These words, which Jesus made his own at the Nazareth synagogue, clarify that his mission is to liberate from sin and the slavery it produces, to return to us the dignity and freedom of God's children.
This joy is based on persevering prayer:  "Pray unceasingly."  Through prayer we enter into a stable relationship with God, source of true joy.  Christians' joy comes from faith and encountering Christ.  The more we're rooted in Christ, the more we find serenity.  Christians must be witnesses and heralds of contagious joy, not prophets of misfortune.
Gratitude, the yield of graces:  God is generous with us, and we're invited to recognize his gifts, merciful love, patience. and goodness, and so live in thanksgiving.
Joy, prayer and gratitude prepare us to live Christmas.  Entrust yourself to the maternal intercession of Mary, the cause of our joy because she's Jesus' Mother and continually leads us to him.
Happy birthday!  Pope Francis chose to celebrate his 81st birthday by meeting with patients at the Pediatric Dispensary of Santa Marta.  Last year, he invited homeless people to join him for breakfast, then celebrated Mass with cardinals in Rome.  Two years ago, he celebrated with young people from Catholic Action and encouraged them to follow a path of goodness, forgiveness, peace, and solidarity.  The year before, 100 circus performers danced the tango for him in St. Peter’s Square.  The previous year, his first as Pope, he celebrated Mass with the homeless, then invited to join him for breakfast.

  • Is 61:1-2a, 10-11  The spirit of the Lord is upon me; the Lord has sent me to bring glad tidings, heal, proclaim liberty, and to announce the Lord's favor.  I rejoice in the Lord; for he has clothed me with salvation and justice.  The Lord will make justice and praise spring up.
Wordle: Readings 12-14-14
  • Lk 1:46-50, 53-54  "My soul rejoices in my God."  He has looked on his servant.  All will call me blessed: he has done great things for me.  He has mercy, fills the hungry, and helps Israel.
  • 1 Thes 5:16-24  Rejoice, pray, and give thanks.  Don't quench the Spirit or despise prophecies.  Test everything; retain what's good.  Refrain from evil.  May God make you holy and preserve you blameless for Christ's coming.  He who calls you is faithful and will do it.
  • Jn 1:6-8, 19-28  God sent John to testify to the light, so all might believe.  “I'm not the Christ, Elijah, or the Prophet but the voice crying out, ‘make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah said.  I baptize with water, but I'm not worthy to untie the sandal strap of the one coming after me.”
  • Creighton:  The focus in the 1st reading is joy, salvation, and hope.  I reflect on the gifts from God's ongoing presence in my life:  time (to pause, breathe, enjoy the moment, and be mindful of the beauty before, beside, and within me), friendship, family, spirituality, and faith.  I'm grateful and joyful to know God is always with me.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "I've been had":  To meet Christ this Christmas, we need the Spirit to guide us.  We have the Spirit if we're baptized, but does the Spirit have us?  Do we relate to the Spirit as a person?  Does the Spirit possess our lives to direct us?  With Mary, have we said yes to the Spirit?  Are we quenching the Spirit or baptized (immersed) in the Spirit?  Are we preoccupied with the Spirit:  do we walk, talk, work, pray, eat, buy, love, think, and sleep in the Spirit?  Have we offered our bodies to be temples of the Spirit?  Do we have life in the Spirit or merely occasional moments?  The Christmas Spirit is the Holy Spirit. Are you in the Christmas Spirit?
  • Passionist:  Today's gospel instructs us to direct our lives to the “one who is coming after [John].” John’s ministry was “to testify to the light,” Christ.  The 2nd reading is a succinct, practical guide for preparing for Christ's coming:  rejoice. pray, give thanks, and, refrain from evil.  If we do, we'll be ready to receive the life and love God wants to bless us with.  The 1st reading tells us what Jesus’ mission world will be:  not to bring glory to himself but to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal, proclaim liberty...:  to bring justice and peace, particularly for those most often denied them. If this is so, in the remaining eight days until Christmas, perhaps the best way we can ready ourselves for the coming of Christ is to do now for others the very things he comes to do for us.
  •  "The Lord has clothed me with the garments of salvation and righteousness":  Every 50 years Israel celebrated a Jubilee Year of remembering God's favor.  Isaiah:  in a Jubilee Year God will send his anointed and bring his people back from exile, bringing good news of freedom.  When John announced the Messiah's coming, leaders questioned his authority.  John was the last Old Testament prophet and first New Testament witness, heralding Jesus, announcing his mission, seeing our redemption from afar.  Do I recognize who I am in Christ?  Great prophet John lived as God's humble and faithful servant, pointed others to Jesus.  The Church has given him names like Witness of the Lord, Trumpet of Heaven, Herald of Christ, Voice of the Word, Precursor of Truth, Friend of the Bridegroom, Crown of Prophets, Forerunner of the Redeemer, Preparer of Salvation, Light of Martyrs, and Servant of the Word.  Do I point others to Christ by my example?
Dress legend
  • 'Pierced hearts' suspenders:  "The Lord sent me to heal the brokenhearted" (1st reading)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  "Like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem,..." (1st reading)
  • Tie bar with 'jewels':  " a bride bedecked with jewels" (1st reading)
  • 'Plant' pin:  As the earth brings forth its plants, so will the Lord make justice spring up (1st reading)
  • 'Dove' pin:  The spirit of the Lord God is upon me (1st reading); don't quench the Spirit (2nd reading)
  • 'Boundless mercy' pin:  The Lord has mercy on all who fear him (canticle)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  May the God of peace make you holy and blameless (2nd reading)
  • 'Honey' tie:  John [who ate locusts and wild honey] was sent from God (gospel)
  • 'Street light' tie bar:  John came to testify to the light (gospel)
  • Blue in tie:  "I baptize with water" (gospel)
  • Sandals (not shown):  I'm not worthy to untie the sandal strap of the one coming after me (gospel)
  • Rose-colored shirt:  Liturgical color for Gaudete Sunday
  • Purple in suspenders:  Advent season

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