Third Sunday in Advent, Year C, 16th December 2018

The Lord is near!

This week, ‘Gaudete Sunday’, we are called to rejoice, for the coming of the Lord is near. At the same time, we are invited to live out our preparation in the details of our daily lives.

The First Reading from Zephaniah is a joyful exultation, because the Lord is bringing back Zion, his people.  God is in our midst and he dances for joy in his love for us.

The Responsorial Psalm does not come from the Psalter, but is a Song of Joy from the Book of Isaiah.  It is a joyful canticle of trust in the Lord and of thanksgiving for all that he has done for us.

St Paul, in the Second Reading, speaks of his desire of happiness for the Philippians.  The Lord ‘is very near’, so we need not worry –but trust in God who will grant us the peace of his Son.

In the Gospel this Sunday we meet John the Baptist again.  But this time we hear his direct teaching and advice to the different groups among his followers.  He also tells them of the One who is to come, who will baptise us with the Holy Spirit and fire.

This week, may we remind ourselves that the Lord is very near, in our midst, and that this is our joy.

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