December 12, 2021


December 12, 2021:  Third Sunday of Advent = Gaudete Sunday

See 17 connections with today?
Legend below
Pope Francis
Angelus:  In today's Gospel John the Baptist responds to those asking how to change their lives.  It reflects enthusiasm for the Lord's coming and a desire to prepare for it concretely.  We too should ask ourselves what we're called to do and become.

The question "What we are to do?" recalls life has a task for us, a gift the Lord grants us; he asks us to discover ourselves and work to make the dream that is your life come true.  Don't be afraid to ask the Lord  what you can do for him., and how it can be translated concretely into contributing to the good of the Church and society.  Advent is to stop and ask ourselves how to prepare for Christmas, what we should do for Jesus and others.  As John the Baptist gave each person a concrete reply, faith is incarnated in concrete life, touching us and transforming our lives.

Think concretely about what you can do to prepare for Christmas:  visiting someone who's alone, helping the elderly or ill, serving the poor or someone in need, asking for forgiveness, paying a debt, clarifying a misunderstanding, praying more...?

On Ukraine:  May the international community resolve tensions in Ukraine through dialogue; arms are not the way.  May this Christmas bring Ukraine peace.

  • Zep 3:14-18a  Shout and sing for joy!  The Lord has removed the judgment against youthe King of Israel is in your midst.  It shall be said:  Fear not!  The Lord is in your midst, a mighty savior; he'll rejoice over you and renew you in his love, he will sing joyfully because of you.
  • Is 12:2-6  "Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel."  God is my savior, my strength, and my courage.  Make known his deeds, his exalted name...
  • Phil 4:4-7  Rejoice in the Lord!  All should know your kindness; the Lord is near.  Have no anxiety; make your requests to God in prayer with thanksgiving.  Then God's peace will guard you in Christ.
  • Lk 3:10-18  Crowds /  John the Baptist:  “What should we do?” / “If you have cloaks or food, share with the person who has none.” [to tax collectors:]  “Don't collect more than what's prescribed.” [to soldiers:] “Don't extort or falsely accuse, and be satisfied with your wages.”  People were wondering whether John might be the Christ.  John:  “I baptize you with water, but one mightier is coming who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire....”  He preached good news to the people.
  • Creighton:  Today's readings are filled with hope, joy, and the anticipation that something great is about to happen.  God lives in and through me and with all that is.  “Rejoice!  The Lord is near.  Have no anxiety; God's peace will guard your hearts and minds.”  God is always present; there's always reason to “Rejoice!”  But the craziness of the lights, my to-do list, and overemphasis on consumerism draws me away from peace and joy; I can get caught up in the craziness and even get grumpy.  God may be touching us through Christmas crazies too.  May I experience the Reality of the season....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Doing Christmas":  The crowds, tax collectors, and soldiers asked John the Baptist, "What ought we to do?" So do we.  The Lord answers our question through the Church. Today is “Gaudete [=rejoice] Sunday.  We are to sing joyfully” and rejoice in the Lord!  Everyone should see how unselfish we are.  Even if circumstances are tragic, we rejoice that we've accepted Christ as our Lord and belong to him..  We rejoice in salvation and our repentance and faith....
  • Passionist:  We are other Christs. Think about how God is preparing you for Christ to be reborn in and through you. That birthing is modeled by Mary's birthing and nurturing the Son of God.  Don't miss the importance of Advent, of God dwelling within you, the birthing of Christ within you for the sake of those around us.  This weekend we celebrate Mary's presence in her apparition to St. Juan Diego amidst a massacre.  In the 16th century people feared Spain would dominate the world.  Genocide of native peoples of Mexico accompanied land conquests.  Mary nurtured her heart for the poor into her Son.  Jesus' heart is for the poor.  It's easy to miss this amidst other pre-Christmas activities.  As you let Christ enter and dwell within, ask what he's calling you to...
  •  "He who is mightier than I is coming":  John the Baptist began to prophesy centuries after other prophets; he announced the Messiah was coming.  The people recognized him as a prophet, came to hear him, and submitted to baptism.  John woke people from spiritual sleep and indifference and turned them to God; he wanted them to be ready to follow the Messiah.  Tax collectors and soldiers came to him; Jewish authorities regarded them as unclean and ostracized them, but John welcomed them.  His message of repentance was practical:  share, give everyone their due, and be content with what you have.  He said the Messiah would "baptize with the Spirit and fire."  Fire was associated with God and his action.  God sometimes manifested his presence with fire, and fire symbolized God's glory, protective presence, holiness, justice, and wrath against sin.  John expanded the image by illustrating the separation of wheat from chaff.  The image of fire is used for the Spirit; God's fire purifies us, inspires reverence, and fans our desire for holiness and meeting the Lord.  Jesus can give us the fire of his Spirit so we may radiate joy to those needing God.  God can transform us so we may point others to Christ.  How do I point others to Christ?
Dress legend
  • Blue 'crowns' tie: the King of Israel is in your midst (1st reading); I baptize you with water (gospel)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  Rejoice! (1st reading, psalm, 2nd reading, Gaudete Sunday)
  • 'Heart' clip:  The Lord will renew you in his love (1st reading); exult with all your heart (1st reading); God's peace will guard your hearts (2nd reading); all asked in their hearts whether John was the Messiah (gospel)
  • Suspenders with globe:  Make the Lord's deeds known among the nations (psalm)
  • Dove/peace pin:  God's peace will guard your hearts... (2nd reading)
  • '?' tie pin:  “What should we do?” (gospel)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  His winnowing fan is in his hand... (gospel)
  • 'Wheat' pin: gather the wheat (gospel)
  • 'Dove' pin:  He'll baptize you with the Spirit... (gospel)
  • Rose-colored shirt:  Liturgical color for Gaudete Sunday
  • Sandals (not shown): I'm not worthy to loosen his sandal strap (gospel)

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