3rd Sunday of Advent, Year C
Fr Dominic Ryan considers the difference between Christ and John the Baptist as the key to understanding Advent joy.
BASILICA OF THE NATIONAL SHRINE
Celebrant & Homilist: Msgr. Raymond East Guest Choir: Religious Family of the Incarnate Word, Saint Cecilia Choir
DEC 12, 2021 | DEC 16, 2018 | DEC 13, 2015 | DEC 16, 2012 | DEC 13, 2009
The Historical Reality of Jesus
Friends, a couple years ago, there was a poll conducted in Great Britain that revealed that the majority of people there feel that Jesus was not a real, historical figure, but rather more of a mythic character. There are all kinds of spiritual systems that trade in mythic language bearing spiritual truths—but that’s not what Christianity is.
Have You Found Joy?
Friends, on this Gaudete Sunday, we are called to rejoice! Detach yourself from the anxieties of the world and live in the peace and joy of Christ.
Sunday Podcast Archive
The podcasts on this page are from the archives of Bishop Barron who has been doing them for over 20 years. All of the podcasts below relate to this Sunday Readings.
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 16, 2018
Like most of the prophets, Zephaniah trades in a fair amount of doom and gloom—but he also dreams of the great day of victory and vindication. The Apostle Paul—the former rabbi Shaul, who had studied the prophets and their works under the great teacher Gamaliel—came to see that in the Paschal Mystery, in the dying and rising of Jesus, the totality of Zephaniah’s message was realized. The destruction that Zephaniah and the others foresaw came massively true in the destruction of Christ’s body on the cross. However, having gone all the way down, God in Christ brought the human race all the way up. Therefore, rejoice!
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 13, 2015
Our Gospel for this third Sunday of Advent is of extraordinary importance, for it speaks to us of the transformation, the transfiguration of the self, which is unique to Christianity. To be baptized in the Holy Spirit is to be immersed in the ocean of the divine love. When we are dipped into this reality, we become capable of something that neither Aristotle nor Plato nor the Founding Fathers nor the prophets themselves dreamed possible: we can love with the very love of God.
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 17, 2006
Our Gospel for today centers around a question that is bracing in its directness and simplicity. A group of people come to the Baptist and ask “what should we do?” The spiritual life is about a set of behaviors and practices, focused, as John the Baptist specifies, around the work of justice.
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 14, 2003
The third Sunday of Advent is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday, Rejoice! Sunday. God is a community of joy and the purpose of creation and redemption is to share that joy. Everything in Christian life–from law and ritual to doctrine and moral praxis–is meant to lead us into deeper joy.
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, shares thoughts on preaching pro-life on the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Cycle C. The theme of joy is the center on this Sunday’s readings and what this joy means.
Father Frank Pavone
What Joy Means
SOURCE: Priests for Life
Life Issues Homilies
Lifeissues.net website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.
As we prepare for the Lord’s coming this Advent, there are many things we can learn from John: on the personal level for greater kindness and honesty, more consideration for others, being content with what we have; and on the social level for greater social awareness leading to action towards social justice and structural reforms.
This advent season, we pray like the early disciples, “Maranatha, come Lord. Reign over us. Let your Kingdom come.” Times may be hard but we rejoice in the Lord.
Everyone wants to be happy, yearns for happiness. Who does not wish to be happy? I’ve never met a man who complained about being too happy. Here and there we get a taste of it, not often enough, but a taste of happiness nonetheless. Think of those happy personal experiences we’ve had. How one way or the other they involve others, and if they do not how we will search out others to share our happiness. Even the little “thank you’s” we share with each other are signs of gratitude, happiness and heaven. Imagine a world without ‘thank you’s’. We know we have acquired this taste for heaven – “not as the world gives” — Jesus told us, but in the “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you always. … Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful”, John 14:27. This love, this peace, this taste for heaven, operates in all circumstances including sorrow and pain, the first gift of heaven we may experience here.
It’s difficult to be cheerful when there’s so much left to do this holiday season, especially when we’re trying to make up for all we missed last year due to the pandemic. The last thing we need is someone telling us not to worry – unless it’s the apostle Paul, writing to Philippi from death row in Rome – whose message of joy should serve us as well now as it did 2,000 years ago! Don’t worry. Rejoice!
LIFEISSUES.NET WEBSITE PUBLISHES ARTICLES DIRECTLY RELATED TO ISSUES RAISED IN EVANGELIUM VITAE, AND RELATED HOMILIES BY FR. AL CARIÑO, O.M.I., FR. TONY PUEYO, AND OTHERS.
EWTN Pro-Life Weekly
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A SERMON FOR EVERY SUNDAY (13:43) – The Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery is the dean of Duke University Chapel and Associate Professor of Homiletics at Duke Divinity School. A national leader in the theological study of the art of preaching, Powery regularly delivers sermons at Duke Chapel as well as at churches throughout the U.S. and abroad. In this week’s sermon from Luke 3:7-18 he notes, “‘You brood of vipers,’ probably isn’t the best way to start a sermon,” but John the Baptist does have a way of getting our attention. As the sermon progresses it becomes clear that John was fed up with, “Jesus talk without justice walk.” How about you? Are you walking the talk?
By The Rev. Charles Hoffacker, Episcopalian
John the Baptist is not interested in people’s roots, their membership cards, their family connections, their past. He’s interested in their fruits: what they are doing now with mercy on their minds, what they are doing now for God’s own pleasure and purpose. John doesn’t care about how they talk, whether they know the right words and can string them together. What concerns him is how they walk, whether they are moving down Repentance Road in the direction of the kingdom, whether they are striding one step at a time toward Jerusalem the Glorious.
And that’s why I love John. John the Baptist, forerunner of Christ, advance man for the kingdom of God! Out there in the desert he calls us to repentance and cares enough to insist we get it right.
John the Baptist is a holy embarrassment! During these December days all the world appears caught up in conspicuous consumption and sickening sentimentalism, marshmallow ethics, spirituality where hearts are warmed by what may be simply indigestion. So what does John the Baptist do? He stands up and shouts that we are no better than a bunch of baby snakes! He doesn’t care who we are, where we come from, what beliefs we hold. John gets right into our faces like the best friend we ever had and demands that we repent. The guy’s for real!
By Dr. Heather Entrekin, Baptist
Some people find themselves in the margins of life for reasons they do not choose. They are born in poverty, for example, or they are a minority of some kind in their culture. War displaces people. Disability can push a person aside, or illness. Death, also. Last Sunday, a room overflowed with those in our church who are bereaved and know how alien it feels to be grieving in this season of joy.
But John challenges the crowd to choose the margins intentionally. Here’s how: those with two coats give one to somebody in need, those with food share with those without, tax collectors don’t cheat, soldiers show respect and be honest. It has echoes of that other prophet who said God only wants this: that you love mercy and do justice and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8).
To live like this puts you on the margins because – watch an hour of TV, go to a movie, read a best seller, attend an office party – and you know the world doesn’t work that way.
By Pastor Steven Molin, Lutheran
“What can we do?” asked the tax collectors. “What can we do?” asked the soldiers. Both of these groups were despised people in the Jewish culture; outcasts actually. Tax collectors took great advantage of people, collecting much more than was required by Caesar, and keeping the difference for themselves. Soldiers were Roman citizens with little regard for the Jewish people, and would often unfairly accuse individuals of a crime and then be bribed to recant the accusation. So John offers both groups an alternative. Don’t collect more tax than you ought to; don’t swindle people.
These are simple changes in lifestyle; changes in attitude, really. But it gave the people of John’s day hope. They did not need to fear the coming of the Messiah if their hearts were in the right place. They did not need to live perfect lives; they did not need to change the world. “Love God and serve people.” That was John’s message.
Well, it’s been 2000 years, and it’s still a good question: “What should we do?” The problem is, few are asking it today. We are busy working our jobs and raising our children and maintaining our homes and enjoying our friends, it rarely occurs to us to ask “What should we do to prepare for the coming of The Christ?” Nobody is asking the question “What should we do?” NOBODY IS ASKING THE QUESTION “What should we do?” (Someone in the congregation finally asks the question.)
By Dr. Philip W. McLarty, United Methodist
So, what do you hear John calling you to do as you prepare for the coming of the Lord? How do his words speak to you? I don’t mean to step on any toes, but here’s a loose paraphrase to consider:
“You who eat too much, go on a diet. You who drink too much, practice moderation, or abstain altogether. You who work too much, leave the office earlier. You who talk too much, bridle your tongue. You who spend too much, practice frugality. You who worry too much, pray more often. You who give too little, be more generous. You who are egotistical and self-absorbed, focus on the needs of others rather than yourself.”
By Dr. Gilbert W. Bowen, Presbyterian
It is a scary world. Our minds and hearts were recently traumatized by the loss of seven brilliant and brave astronauts. What a sadness. But it is not to diminish their sacrifice to remind us that on the same day 20 died in a bomb explosion in Lagos, an American serviceman was shot in Qatar, an elderly couple burned to death on Chicago’s south side and there was an accident death on the Northwest Tollway.
It is a scary world. A man recounts how lying in bed one night, he finds himself saying, “It is very strange. Here I am lying in bed, and I don’t have a worry in the world. Then the thought came, “That worries me.”
Wouldn’t it be great if you and I could reach the point where worry and anxiety never kept us awake at night, or glued to the television, never left us fatigued of body or distraught of mind, did not haunt our attitudes and activities. How much misery in life is due to the fears that dog, the troubles that plague and will not go away. How many of our physical ills are rooted here? How many mistakes we make in business or relationship because we are hounded by some apprehension, some self-absorption, some lack of clarity of mind.
By Dr. Gilbert W. Bowen, Presbyterian
A column in a California newspaper talks about “Hallowthankmas,” the three month marathon of card sending, party throwing, putting up and taking down decorations, overeating and overbuying.” Says the writer, “Hallowthankmas starts before Halloween, continues through Thanksgiving and Christmas and ends after New Years. (Someone insisted, ‘after the Superbowl). Nobody will admit to liking it, but we seem powerless to dump it.”
So what if we could achieve an inner equanimity that would enable us to sail through such seasons with their hectic pace with a glad heart and serene spirit? Good days and bad, hectic and gray, a deep joy and central peace. And not only in this impossible season, but all the seasons of our lives. What would we put out for that prize?
Well, that’s precisely what the Apostle Paul offers his friends in Philippi long ago. “All joy be yours.” “The peace of God be yours.” Note that he is interested in the mood of his friends. Mood does make a big difference, in how well we function at our labors, in how well we get along with one another, in our attitude toward the world and its future.
And the secret of his offer seems to lie in two words at the heart of his remarks, the words “with thanksgiving.” For this old story and faith, thanksgiving is the one inner dynamic, the one spirit and emotion, that springs us loose for joy and peace and hope.