December 15, 2019


December 15, 2019:  Third Sunday of Advent = Gaudete Sunday

See 17 connections with today?
Legend below

  • John/ Winter (gospel) [leadsheet and related note]
  • For next Sunday:  Psalm 24:  Let the Lord enter/ Celoni:  sheet music.  The page also has the setting for All Saints Day; they're very similar but IMHO have very different feels.
Pope Francis

Homily:  From today's psalm we learn vulnerable people deserve a look of special love from God; they're the inhabitants of the peripheries.  As the world prepares to celebrate the Incarnation, Emmanuel, ask the Lord to renew the miracle of Christmas, and offer yourself as an instrument of his merciful love towards the least and lowest.  We're called to awaken in our hearts a sense of expectation and to intensify our prayer.

In the Philippines there's been a novena in preparation for Christmas, Simbang-Gabi (night Mass), where the faithful gather for a special Eucharist.  Through this celebration, which has crossed national borders, we commit ourselves to manifest God's love and tenderness towards everyone, especially the least.

Those who leave their land in search of a better future have a special mission.  Your faith is leaven in your parish communities.  Increase opportunities for meeting to share your cultural and spiritual wealth, and allow yourselves to be enriched by others' experiences.  We're are all called to practice charity with those in the peripheries, using our gifts to renew the signs of the Kingdom's presence.  We're all called to proclaim the Gospel, and reach as many as possible.

Angelus:  Today's liturgy invites us to be joyful, but aware that existence also includes moments of doubt.  Like Isaiah, we're called to look beyond doubts and discouragements because God’s salvation envelops and regenerates the whole person.  We're called to conversion, as both John the Baptist and Jesus preached.  Like John, we're called to recognize the humble, merciful face God chose to assume in Jesus Christ.

Advent is a time of grace that tells us it's not enough to believe; we need to purify our faith daily, not preparing to welcome a fairy-tale character but God, who challenges and involves us.  The Child who lies in the manger has the face of the most needy, the poor who are the privileged ones of this mystery and often those most able to recognize God's presence.  May the Virgin Mary help us to make room for the One who has come and wants to come again to heal us and give us joy.


  • Is 35:1-6a, 10  They will see the Lord's glory.  Fear not!  Your God comes to save you.  The eyes of the blind will be opened....  Those the Lord ransomed will return, crowned with joy.
Wordle: Readings 12-15-13

  • Ps 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10  "Lord, come and save us."  The Lord, who secures justice, gives food and sight, sets free, raises up, loves, protects, and sustains, shall reign forever.
  • Jas 5:7-10  Be patient till the Lord's coming, as the farmer waits for fruit.  The Lord's coming is at hand; make your hearts firm.  Don't complain.
  • Mt 11:2-11  John's disciples to Jesus:  “Are you the one who is to come?”  “The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.”  “What did you go out to the desert to see?  A reed?  One well-dressed?  A prophet?  John is more:  the messenger to prepare the way.  No one has been greater, but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater.”
    St. John the Baptist/ Reni
  • Creighton:  When John's disciples asked Jesus whether he was the one to come, his response included miracles, preaching the good news, and “blessed the one who takes no offense at me.”  Jesus' later words to Thomas, “Blessed those who have not seen and yet have believed” remind us that we're called to form our faith without direct proof from God.  We're called to proclaim our faith in words and action.   May we boldly express our joy as we celebrate the hope, promise, and love that is manifested in Christ’s birth is celebrated, and to also express his words in actions, such as kindness or help to someone in need.  Each of us can give our time, talent and treasure to put God’s love into action....
  • Passionist:  Why would John the Baptist, who recognized Jesus as the Messiah, from prison send his followers to ask Jesus whether he's the one to come?  to ask Him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”  If Jesus were the Messiah, why was John in prison?  What do we do when discouraged?  Jesus' answer helped John see Jesus as Messiah, to fulfill God's plan, but in an unexpected way.  When things don't happen as we expect, may we remember Jesus is still with us and at work, then make more room for him, rejoice, regain the sight of his love, hear his comforting words, find strength, see others as God does, listen to them, and help them find joy in Christ's love.
  •  "They shall obtain joy and gladness":  John is the last and greatest of the prophets of the old covenant.  He pointed to Christ, God's Anointed, preparing the way for him.  He saw Jesus would redeem us.  When Herod imprisoned him, John sent his disciples to Jesus, wanting them to hear and see how Jesus was bringing God's kingdom to those who were receptive.  Jesus confirmed that his works fulfilled Isaiah's Messianic prophecies.  Jesus' miracles demonstrate the power of God's kingdom at work among us. God turns our sorrow, fear, and weakness into joy, strength, and hope.  Then Jesus asked John's disciples, "Why did you go out in the wilderness to see John?" "Were you hungry for God's word?" He said John was more than a spokesman for God; he was the faithful witness and friend who pointed others to the Messiah's coming.  Unlike a weak, spineless reed that can be easily crushed or bruised, John was a pillar of strength and truth amid opposition, trusting unswervingly in God and his word.  Jesus knew what the Father sent him to accomplish would supersede what the prophets had done and foreseen....  John sacrificed his life for speaking God's word and preparing the way for Jesus. The Lord offers us the same assurance and strength to stand against whatever would rob us of our conviction and courage....
Dress legend
  • 'Deer' tie:  The lame will leap like a stag (1st reading)
  • 'Car with mouth' pin:  The tongue of the mute will sing (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  The eyes of the blind shall be opened (1st reading); the Lord gives sight to the blind (psalm); "Tell John you see the blind regain their sight" (gospel)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  The redeemed will be crowned with joy (1st reading); the Lord shall reign forever (psalm)
  • 'Clocks' suspenders:  Be patient till the Lord's coming... (2nd reading)
  • 'Apple' pin: farmers wait for precious fruit (2nd reading)
  • 'Heart' pin:  Say to frightened hearts, "Be strong..." (1st reading); make your heart firm;... (2nd reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  ...The Lord's coming is at 'hand' (2nd reading); strengthen feeble hands (1st reading)
  • '?' tie pin:  "Are you the one to come?" (gospel)
  • Rose-colored shirt, 'roses' pin:  Today's liturgical color; they'll bloom with abundant flowers... (1st reading)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  ...and rejoice with joyful song; the redeemed will be crowned with joy (1st reading)

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