3rd Sunday of Advent (A)

December 11, 2022

INTRODUCTIONHOMILIESPAPAL HOMILIESCOMMENTARYECUMENICAL RESOURCESVIDEO ARCHIVEHOMILY STARTERSFAITH SHARINGCHILDRENMUSIC

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“The baptized are not just forgiven humans, or improved humans; they are a different kind of being from the unbaptized,” writes Father Hawkswell. (CNS file photo/Mike Crupi, Catholic Courier)

Altier Bloom Chama Chua Cummins Ekpunobi Fallon
Fleming Hawkswell Holsington Kavanaugh Lane Langeh Lawrence
Pavone Pellegrino Schuster Senior Smiga     

Bishop Robert Barron WORD ON FIRE PODCASTS and featured videos of priests delivering their Sunday Homilies for the 3rd Sunday of Advent (A)

FR. VINCENT HAWKSWELL

God is Coming to Make Us ‘gods’

3rd Sunday of Advent (A) – 2022

We all say we want life, and want it to the full, and yet, as Jesus said, we are unwilling to go to him to possess that life.

Homilies Hawkswell

How wonderful it will be for the blind, to see; the deaf, to hear; the dumb, to speak; and those confined to wheelchairs, to walk!

Compared with what we will be in heaven, we are now all blind, deaf, lame, and speechless.

God the Son became man so that we “might have life, and have it to the full,” Jesus said. Here, “life” means not our natural human life, nor merely the fullness of natural life, nor human life continued forever. It means God’s life, divine life, supernatural life, spiritual life, eternal life, everlasting life.

The two kinds of life are so different (infinitely different) that in the Greek of his Gospel, St. John gives them distinct names: Bios for human life and Zoë for God’s life.

HOMILY ARCHIVE

 

FR. GEORGE SMIGA

Wild Like John

3rd Sunday of Advent (A) – 2016

What if we were to choose to look into the eyes of the people we love and say, “How good it is to see you. It has been much too long.”

Homilies Smiga

In today’s first reading Isaiah presents his grand vision of the Kingdom of God. In this peaceable kingdom the poor will be judged with justice and violence will end. Wild animals will coexist peacefully with domestic animals. The lion will lay down with the lamb. Woody Allen has commented on this passage. What he says is this: “When the lion lays down with the lamb, the lamb doesn’t get much sleep.” This is Allen’s way of stating what is already obvious to us. Isaiah’s peaceful kingdom is very different from the world in which we live. In our world the poor are often judged unjustly and violence erupts in the wars of many nations, in our streets, and sometimes in our homes. The difference between Isaiah’s words and our experience can lead us to dismiss Isaiah’s vision as pious dreaming. But that would be to misunderstand its purpose. Isaiah describes a perfect world in order to reveal what God intends. Isaiah wants us to remember that our God is a God who is eternally opposed to all that is unjust, violent or evil. Our God wants to change things, and God calls us to participate in the elimination of evil from our world.

More Homilies from Fr. Smiga

  • Celebrating Two Christmases – December 12, 2004
  • Presenting the Mess – December 15, 2013
  • The Doubt of John the Baptist – December 15, 2019

HOMILY ARCHIVE

FR. AUSTIN FLEMING

How Am I Supposed to Find Joy in the Middle of This?

3rd Sunday of Advent (A) – 2016

Your problems and difficulties may be keeping your spirits low these days but don’t hesitate in this Advent time to lift up your burdens to the One who offers to carry them.

Homilies Concord Pastor

  • Is there anything that stands in the way of your having the best Christmas possible?
  • Is there a desert, a parched land of sadness or grief or disappointment that stands between you and the peace and joy of Christmas?
  • Is there a problem, a difficulty, an anxiety, a burden you carry, or some worry or anxiety weighing on your heart;
  • Is there a grudge, a resentment, a broken relationship that blinds or deafens or weakens you on your walk through Advent to the coming season of merriment, peace and joy?
  • Is there an unanswered prayer, an unfulfilled dream, a hope not realized that tries your faith and your patience? Does something inside you wait and long to hear some good news?

All the things I’ve just mentioned can make of Christmas a season that intensifies the brokenness some folks live with and the burdens some souls carry day to day. These feelings, these problems, these concerns seem just what no one would want to experience at this time of year – and yet… And yet, it’s for people in just these circumstances, and in one way or another – that’s all of us. And it’s for just these reasons that God’s Word became flesh and was born, an innocent, beautiful child, in Bethlehem some 2,000 years ago.

RECENT HOMILIES

FR. ANTHONY EKPUNOBI, C.M.

Today is Gaudete Sunday!

3rd Sunday of Advent (A) – 2019

The birth of the saviour in our hearts will motivate actions that will bring joy to the hearts of our neighbours. 

Homilies

Today is Gaudete Sunday! We rejoice because of the signs associated with the coming of the Messiah. Today’s gospel tells of the signs that is associated with the coming of the saviour of humanity. The disciples of John the Baptist were told to report back to their master that the blind see again, and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised to life and the Good News is proclaimed to the poor. The words of Jesus Christ to the disciples of John the Baptist re-echo the prophesy of Isaiah featured in today’s first reading. We are filled with joyful anticipation of the feast of Nativity.

Our joy lies in the experience of wholeness that Christmas brings. The deprived of our community will express similar joy if our generosity is extended to them this Christmas. The birth of the saviour in our hearts will motivate actions that will bring joy to the hearts of our neighbours. The miraculous joy of Christmas is founded on God’s generosity. God gave his only son Jesus Christ to be born for the salvation of humanity. Similarly, our generosity, motivated by the birth of the messiah in our heart, will bring joy to the hearts of the lonely and abandoned, the poor and homeless, the sad, confused and undecided etc. Generosity brings joy to the hearts of the poor.

HOMILY ARCHIVE

MSGR. JOSEPH PELLEGRINO

The Search for Truth

3rd Sunday of Advent (A) – 2022

This truth that sets us free is more than a concept. It is the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit.

Homilies

We have all witnessed family, friends and neighbors twisting truths to justify every abominable action imaginable. Books are available that justify every sort of abomination you can imagine. Or would rather not think about. Many people have discarded the belief that we will be judged by God according to our actions. They would rather see God as some sort of a Barney that will sing “I love you, you love me” to us for all eternity even if we spent significant portions of our lives singing to God, “I hate you and all you demand of me.” The concept of universal laws has been rejected. It was brushed aside by an misuse of the word “values” so that the ten commandments have really been turned into the ten suggestions. Many college professors report that nearly all of the students who enter the classroom believe that the truth is relative. Why then should be so surprised that the truth is whatever people want it to be?

Not all people see the truth this way. There are very good people in our day in our society, just as there were very good people in Jesus’ day in Jesus’ society. There are good people who have had enough of the perversion of truth. They are attracted to anyone who will stand for the truth, regardless of whether it is popular or not, whether it is convenient or not, whether it is politically correct or not. There are good people who just want the truth. They do not want a reed bent by the wind. They want a John the Baptist who will die rather than sway from the truth.

HOMILY ARCHIVE

FR. ROBERT ALTIER

Be Strong, Fear Not!

3rd Sunday of Advent (A) – 2019

We rejoice now because Jesus is with us and dwells within us!  

Homilies

Our hearts need to be strengthened in the Lord Who dwells within.  He is our God, our Savior, and our King.  He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  He is pure love.  The people who heard John the Baptist were challenged to deal with the gravity of his message because he was the prophet of the Lord.  Today we are challenged to deal with the message of Christ precisely because He is the Lord and continues to speak His message through the Church.  He cannot lie or deceive; He cannot lead us astray; He has conquered all we could fear; and He desires only what is best for us.  All this can be said of Jesus because He has died, risen, and gone to Heaven.  He has done all of this, and now He remains with us and within us, so our question is not of the past or the future, but the present.

Knowing this, why do we fear?  So much anxiety exists in the world today, but He has conquered.  We live in a world of confusion, but we have the clarity of Truth.  We are surrounded by selfishness and an epidemic of narcissism, but we have Love Himself.  The devil causes chaos and sows doubt, that is why each of us must answer the questions raised by John’s disciples about Jesus.  If you believe in Jesus, remove your gaze from the world outside and gaze upon the One Who dwells in your heart – and rejoice!

HOMILY ARCHIVE

FR. MICHAEL CHUA

The Bridge Between the Old and the New

3rd Sunday of Advent (A) – 2019

Deny yourself as St John did and live unto Christ. Don’t live for the approval of man, but for the approval of God.

Homilies

Like St John the Baptist, we are invited to look at our Lord and all His works in this chaotic world of ours. In the midst of darkness, there is the light of His grace; in the midst of confusion, there is clarity of His teachings; in the midst of hopelessness, there is His promise of salvation. In different ways, we too are called to give witness to this faith as St John the Baptist did.  As St Paul tells us, “you too have to be patient, do not lose heart, because the Lord’s coming is soon.”

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FR. FRANK PAVONE

Steadiness of Heart

3rd Sunday of Advent (A)

Steadiness of heart is what is needed as we adhere to the hope of the Gospel amidst a culture of death. 

The themes of joy, hope and a steady heart flow from the message of today’s readings that the coming of the Lord is close at hand. The Church wants the natural joy that comes with the approach of Christmas to be illumined and lifted up by the spiritual joy that comes with the approach of Christ.

This spiritual joy is rooted in hope and leads to a steadiness of heart expressed in all three of today’s readings. Isaiah declares, “Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak; say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God – he comes…” James says, “Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand.” In the Gospel, Jesus points out that John had a steady heart. “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?”

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FR. EVANS CHAMA, M.AFR

What Kind of Messiah?

3rd Sunday of Advent (A) – 2016

No doubt, Jesus is radical but not in the manner of the messiah announced by John. He is not shunning sinners, he is not judging and neither is he punishing anyone. 

We begin the third week of Advent and slowly we are getting close to the feast of Christmas. That’s why the 3rd Sunday of Advent is called the Sunday of Joy. We rejoice because the Lord’s coming is close at hand. So, let’s light the third candle of Advent as an expression of our joyful and patient waiting of the messiah.

No doubt, Jesus is radical but not in the manner of the messiah announced by John. He is not shunning sinners, he is not judging and neither is he punishing anyone.  Instead, he is gathering and healing the broken humanity. It’s a gentle and merciful messiah. Moreover, the messiah was expected to establish justice and liberate victims of injustice. What do we see? Evildoers and unjust people continue to walk freely on streets while the righteous ones like, John Baptist, are still languishing in prison. Hence, contrary to the expectation we have here a messiah whom the French would easily describe as “un type très sympa” –nice guy. I imagine, in John’s place, I too would doubt.

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FR. JUDE LANGEH,CMF
FR. PHIL BLOOM

Faith & Truth

3rd Sunday of Advent (A) – 2013

Like St. John the Baptist, we want more than a comforting, feel-good faith. We want the truth.

Homilies

I love technology, but technology as we all know can be used for good or for bad. We need something deeper than technology. We need the light of faith. And I would like to point out that faith (like science) does have methodology.

Let me give you an example of the methodology of faith – how we put together the books of the Bible: which books belongs and which books do not belong. When St. Paul spoke about the Scriptures (the Bible) he meant the Hebrew Scriptures – what we call the Old Testament. When Christians met for the “breaking of the bread” (the Mass) they read from the Law, the Prophets and the Wisdom books – but also from letters of Paul, James, Peter, Jude and John. In addition they had what st. Justin calls the “memoirs of the apostles” – the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

SOURCE: St. Mary of the Valley – Year A Homilies
FR. TOMMY LANE

Happy the One who does not Lose Faith in Jesus

3rd Sunday of Advent (A) – 2010

Look around you and see the presence of God despite the difficulty you are in.

Homilies

 Look around you and see the blind seeing again, the lame walking, lepers being cleansed, the deaf hearing, and the dead being raised to life. When we look around in our own diocese, we see those words being fulfilled in the very powerful healing ministry of some priests of our diocese. A person in my last parish received a letter from a friend in another part of the country about being cured of cancer through the healing ministry of one the priests of our diocese. Events like that give us courage. Remember the last line of the message Jesus sent back to John in prison: “happy the man who does not lose faith in me.”

SOURCE: YEAR A HOMILIES
FATHER MICHAEL CUMMINS

The Danger of Narrowcasting in the Church

3rd Sunday of Advent (A) – 2016

Catholic means “universal”. I do not believe that there is space for narrow-casting in the Church.

There has been a trend developing in our national news media and you have probably noticed it. It is the move from “broad-casting” to “narrow-casting”. Charles Seife, in his book, Virtual Unreality: Just Because the Internet Told You So, How Do You Know It’s True?, lays it out quite clearly.

“Back when the Big Three ruled the airwaves, the nightly news had to perform a delicate balancing act. A news program had to try to appeal to the entire television audience – it had to be, quite literally, a broad cast – if it was to compete with the other two networks that were taking the same strategy. This meant that the networks couldn’t become too partisan or take an extreme position on anything, for fear of alienating its potential audience…

SOURCE: The Alternate Path – Thoughts on Waling the Path of Christian Discipleship
FATHER MICHAEL FALLON, MSC

The Joy of What we are About to Receive

3rd Sunday of Advent (A)

Our own sins return to haunt us and we are faced with our powerlessness to find direction and freedom.

Could the disciples of John the Baptist handle a Messiah who suffers with us, a Messiah who shares our fragility and vulnerability, a Messiah who knew persecution and abandonment and betrayal and who would suffer the terrible ignominy and awful pain of crucifixion? Can we handle that? Are we willing to measure ourselves and others by our love, or are we going to be seduced into measuring people by their productivity, their contribution to the economic welfare of the community? It is good to contribute to the economic welfare of the community (so long as that is truly what we are doing, and not using it as camouflage for personal aggrandisement), but the measure of our humanity is the measure of our love. This is what Jesus teaches us.

Christmas is fast approaching. As we prepare to take the child Jesus into our arms, like Simeon, let us get in touch with our longings, resist the distractions that can clutter this sacred season of rejoicing and pray that the love of God will purify our hearts and minds so that this Christmas will be for us and for those we love a season of profound and lasting joy.

SOURCE: Michael Fallon, msc
FR. JOHN KAVANAUGH, SJ

Waiting

3rd Sunday of Advent (A) – 1997

For the world and all its life is only Advent. It is a creation unfinished
Homilies

We humans will always be in Advent. A year’s Christmas may come, regeneration may occur, but at the core of our being is an endless waiting. We are utterly indigent when measured by eternity. “Come, Lord Jesus” is a song not only for December. It is a refrain for our entire lives, all our days.

For the world and all its life is only Advent. It is a creation unfinished, a groaning for another wondrous coming, a second birth. Our final happiness and healing, rich or poor, will not be quarried here. We who believe that heaven once came down to earth also believe that every grace of the earth will be lifted to undying life by our God made flesh.

SOURCE: SUNDAY WEB SITE

BISHOP FRANK SCHUSTER

Gaudete Sunday is Good Medicine

3rd Sunday of Advent (A) – 2019

No matter what life throws at us, or how much we have to get done before Christmas, we remember to rejoice that God has demonstrated his love for us and has welcomed us into his life through Christ our Lord.

Today is Gaudete Sunday. Everything about this liturgy from the readings to the vestments to the candle we lit calls us to rejoice for the Lord is near. That is what Gaudete means. It is a word that calls us to rejoice. We rejoice that the Lord will appear at the end of days and we rejoice that Jesus’ birthday is near. On the other hand, I will be the first to admit that any message reminding me that Christmas is near can cause me anxiety, perhaps even a panic attack. There is so much to do and so little time to do it in. Have you ever felt that way a couple weeks before Christmas? This is why I love the theme for this Sunday. Gaudete Sunday is good medicine at this point in December to help us avoid becoming an Ebenezer.

For this Sunday of Advent, I want to share something Pope Francis said a few years back that I think is a helpful reminder this time of year. He said, “The joy of the Gospel is not just any joy. It consists in knowing one is welcomed and loved by God.” Perhaps that is as good a definition of salvation as any, knowing that we are welcomed, loved and redeemed by Jesus. It is a simple message, and yet central to what it means to be a Christian. Pope Francis also said something quite provocative. He said, “No one has ever heard of a sad saint with a mournful face. That would be a contradiction. The Christian’s heart is filled with peace because he knows how to place his joy in the Lord even when going through the difficult moments of life.” I think this is good advice for all of us this time of year.

Recent Homilies | Year A Archive

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