Sunday, December 17, 2017
Third Sunday of Advent
The entrance antiphon sets the tone as we rejoice for the Lord is near.
"Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice. Indeed the Lord is near."
The Collect asks that we may be enabled to attain the joys of so great a salvation and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.
The first reading from Isaiah speaks also about rejoicing:
"I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul...
Paul tells us to "Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit...
And then we have the Gospel where John the Baptist is asked:
Who are you? And he replies, "I am not the Christ." John finally says that he is "the voice of one crying out in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord." He is quoting Isaiah but we catch a glimpse of the humility of John. Then he will say that he is not worthy even to untie the strap of the sandals of the one who is coming.
I think we need to listen to the readings this week as we also will be starting the O Antiphons. These help us to fix our attention on the coming of the Lord; we need to concentrate on the real meaning of Christmas!