Third Sunday of Advent, Year B, 17th December 2017

Rejoice in the Lord always!

This Sunday’s readings are full of joy and hope – we have a glimpse of the joy of our approaching redemption.

Isaiah, in the First Reading, announces the redemption of Jerusalem, clothed in the bridal robes of justice and integrity. Jesus quoted this text to describe his mission, and it also prefigured Mary’s role in our salvation.

The Responsorial Psalm is the song of Mary’s Magnificat. It is a joyful hymn of praise to God for his holiness, his mercy and his faithfulness in bringing the salvation promised to his people.

St Paul’s sentiments in the Second Reading echo this. In his letter he encourages the Thessalonians – and us – to be happy, to pray constantly, to give thanks to God and to be open to the Spirit as we wait for the coming of the Lord. God has called us and he will not fail us.

This Sunday, we again meet John the Baptist in the Gospel. John the Evangelist insists on the Baptist’s role as witness to the light. He is a witness, a voice, but not the Messiah. The Messiah is here, amongst us, but we do not know him.

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