3rd Sunday of Advent, Year C


“Unborn Jesus”  – Detail  from illustration by Gary Cangemi

The Word became flesh

By Kevin Aldrich

Overview of
Doctrinal Homily

Catechism Themes

Kevin Aldrich

Written as an aid for homilists and a resource for the faithful, this doctrinal homily outline (1) provides insights into the Lectionary readings, (2) explicates a doctrine of Catholic Faith or morals from them, and (3) shows specific ways lay persons can live these truths.

Click on title to read everything from Kevin Aldrich.  What follows are only excerpts of Catechism themes you will find on his blog. 

First Reading

  • Micah prophesizes the Messiah…
  • He will come from Bethlehem…
  • In his human nature, “his origin is from old” because…
  • God will begin a new era…
  • Christ does “stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the Lord,” and the clue by which he will do it is…

Responsorial Psalm

  • We might wish him to, but God will never “make us” turn to him…
  • In Christ, the Blessed Trinity has given us…
  • This vine planted by God is…

Second Reading

    • Under the Old Covenant, the Chosen People offered sacrifices…
    • God the Son came into the world…
    • What is God’s will? It is…


  • Our Lady and the angel Gabriel had just concluded…
  • During that dialogue, Gabriel had announced…
  • Why “in haste”? …
  • Our response to Mary’s haste….
  • We now know enough about the bond between a mother and her unborn child….
  • Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth “knew” that….


The Son became incarnate to do the Father’s will

  • What did God the Son do?
  • Did Christ do this? Why did he do this?
  • What is the will that Christ came to do? ….
  • Did Christ fulfill the Father’s will? “…


Contemplation of the Unborn Christ

  • With Our Lady, we adore Christ as a newborn baby…
  • We can bring everything we happen to know about fetal development…
  • Then we can ask Our Lady and her Son…
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FRANCISCAN FRIARS (10:44) – Fr. Daniel J. Mahan, S.T.L., pastor of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Bloomington, Indiana, and St. Jude the Apostle in Spencer covers the entire Catechism in 111 videos, giving an outline of the content along with clear easy to follow explanations. The series is based on the 2nd Edition of the Catechism.

This Sunday’s Catechism Themes

“The following paragraphs from the Catechism of the Catholic Church resonate with the biblical readings for this Sunday. They were chosen either because they cite or allude to the specific readings, or because they treat topics found in the readings.”  —Homiletic Directory
  • CCC 148, 495, 717, 2676: the Visitation
  • CCC 462, 606-607, 2568, 2824: the Son becomes incarnate to do the Father’s will

Featured Excerpts

Catechism of the Catholic Church. Order Hard Copy of the text in English and in Spanish. Excerpts courtesy of the Catechism search tool at Catholic Cross Reference,  a Catholic blog run by Jeff Pinyan.
The Visitation

The Visitation

CCC 148, 495, 717, 2676


The Son becomes incarnate

The Son becomes incarnate to do the Father’s Will

CC 462, 606-607, 2568, 2824


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Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant

CATHOLIC PRODUCTIONS (21:18) – Have you ever wondered why Catholics revere Mary and even call her “holy”? Why is she “set apart” (i.e., holy)? What does the Bible say about Mary and how does the New Testament depict her? How are Mary and the Old Ark of the Covenant from the Exodus connected? And, what relevance does that have? In this video, taken from Dr. Pitre’s 1hr+ presentation, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary (see link below), Dr. Pitre explores what the Bible teaches about Mary and what the Gospel of Luke and St. John in the Book of Revelation, in particular reveal to us about Mary.

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Mary: The Ark of the New Covenant

DIOCESE OF SAN BERNARDINO (1:57) –Why do we sometimes refer to Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant? Find out in this video the parallels between the Ark of the Old and New Testament.

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The Virgin Mary
as You’ve Never Seen Her

ST PAUL CENTER (26:45) –The Bible and the Virgin Mary, part of the St. Paul Center’s Journey Through Scripture series, unveils the mystery of Our Lady that is woven into the fabric of Sacred Scripture. This video is the first of twelve visually stunning lessons convey the beauty of the doctrine and devotions surrounding Mary, bringing them to life in a powerful, new way. Based on Scott Hahn’s “Hail, Holy Queen” and presented by dynamic speaker Matthew Leonard, this study has something for everyone from the newly confirmed to the fully engaged cradle Catholic.

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The Word Made Flesh –
Remembering Mary


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Distracted by a Footnote –
The Visitation

FR. WILLIAM NICHOLAS (4:01) – The Visitation immediately follows upon the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary. What provokes it, however, says a lot about the Virgin Mary and where she is focussed and what provokes her to action.

RCL Benziger

The Coming of Christ in the Flesh

The four Sundays of Advent have progressed from the focus on the Second Coming of Christ to the coming of Christ proclaimed by John the Baptist to this Sunday’s focus of the coming of Christ in human flesh. The long-awaited Messiah is born into the world through Mary. We pray, “the virgin mother bore him in her womb with love beyond all telling.” (Advent Preface II)

Jesus the Christ is both human and divine. The humanity of Jesus is key to understanding his divinity. In the person of Jesus, God and humankind come together in perfect unity.

SOURCE: RCL BENZIGER Classroom Sessions Year C (2018-2019)

Lesson Plans (PDF)

Lesson segments: Opening Prayer, Life Reflection, Listening to the Word of God, Scripture Discussion Starters, Scripture Background, Questions for Deeper Reflection, Doctrinal Discussion Starters, and the Gospel in Life

Primary Session
Intermediate Session
Junior High Session

SOURCE: RCL BENZIGER Classroom Sessions Year B (2017-2018)

Doctrinal Discussion Starters


  • As you get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus, describe some of the Christmas decorations that you have seen lately?
  • What decorations help to announce the birth of Jesus? (Suggest that the many lights we see can remind us that Jesus is the light of the world. And evergreens can be a sign of the everlasting love of God. The nativity scene can remind us that Jesus can be born each day in our hearts.)

THE GOSPEL IN LIFE – Ask a family member to tell how he/she prepared for Christmas when he/she was a child.


  • What can you do to spread the joy of the birth of Jesus this Christmas?
  • What does the divinity of Jesus mean to you?
  • What does the humanity of Jesus mean to you?

THE GOSPEL IN LIFE – Spread the joy of Christmas by calling or visiting a friend or family member who lives far away.

Junior High

  • How does the birth of Christ bring holiness to all of humanity?
  • Does the humanity of Christ help you relate to Jesus as a friend? Explain.

THE GOSPEL IN LIFE – Bring the light of Christ’s peace to those you meet this Christmas.

SOURCE: RCL BENZIGER Classroom Sessions Year B (2017-2018)

RCL Benziger

Textbook Series Correlations

Be My Disciples (PDF)

Blest Are We (PDF)


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