December 17, 2017: Third Sunday of Advent
The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Brothers and sisters: 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. Do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything; retain what is good. Refrain from every kind of evil.
May the God of peace make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will also accomplish it.
John 1:6-8; 19-28
A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.
So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?” He said: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.” Some Pharisees were also sent. They asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Today is the traditional “Rejoice Sunday” from the second reading which exhorts us to rejoice always. The Isaiah reading is the one Jesus quoted when announcing his role: “to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners.” Plenty of reason to rejoice! Like last Sunday’s gospel, today we have John baptizing preparing the way for someone greater. In these hectic pre-Christmas days, can we believe that our God is faithful and rejoice in all the Christmas preparations?
Stop for a moment today and look at the people around you with love. Take a moment to rejoice in their presence. For this moment be glad for their company exactly as they are. Thank God for their presence in your life, breathe a simple prayer for them.
An inspiring message. I especially liked the inclusion of an “Action”. Thank you