3rd Sunday of Advent (A)

December 11, 2022

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Pope Francis

March 13, 2013 – Present

3rd Sunday of Advent (Year A)

DECEMBER 15, 2019

Joy and Doubt

On this Sunday “of joy”, the Word of God invites us on the one hand to joy, and on the other hand to the awareness that existence also includes moments of doubt,

On this third Sunday of Advent, known as the Sunday “of joy”, the Word of God invites us on the one hand to joy, and on the other hand to the awareness that existence also includes moments of doubt, in which it is difficult to believe. Joy and doubt are both experiences that are part of our lives…

Salvation envelops the whole person and regenerates him. But this new birth, with the joy that accompanies it, always presupposes a death to ourselves and to the sin within us. Hence the call to conversion, which is the basis of the preaching of both the Baptist and Jesus; in particular, it is a question of converting our idea of God. And the time of Advent stimulates us to do this precisely with the question that John the Baptist poses to Jesus: “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Mt 11: 3). We think: all his life John waited for the Messiah; his lifestyle, his very body is shaped by this expectation. This is also why Jesus praises him with those words: no one is greater than him among those born of a woman (cf. Mt 11: 11). Yet he too had to convert to Jesus. Like John, we too are called to recognize the face that God chose to assume in Jesus Christ, humble and merciful.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

DECEMBER 11, 2016

Rejoice in the Lord Always

Today we are called to rejoice for the imminent coming of our Redeemer; and we are called to share this joy with others, giving comfort and hope….

Today we celebrate the Third Sunday of Advent, which is characterized by Saint Paul’s invitation: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice…. The Lord is at hand” (Phil 4:4-5). It is not a superficial or purely emotional cheerfulness that the Apostle exhorts, nor is it the cheerfulness of worldliness or of consumerism. No, it is not that, but rather, it entails a more authentic joy, the taste of which we are called to rediscover. The taste of true joy. It is a joy that touches our innermost being, as we await Jesus, who has already come to bring salvation to the world, the promised Messiah, born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary. The liturgy of the Word offers us the appropriate context for understanding and living out this joy. Isaiah speaks of wilderness, of dry land, of plains (cf. 35:1); the Prophet has before him weak hands, feeble knees, fearful hearts, people who are blind, deaf and dumb (cf. vv. 3-6). The context of this situation is desolation, an inexorable fate without God.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

homilies

Pope Benedict XVI

April 19, 2005 – February 28, 2013

3rd Sunday of Advent (Year A)

DECEMBER 12, 2010

Establish Your Hearts

“Behold,” James writes, “the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it until it receives the early and the late rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (Jas 5:7-8).

[In today’s second reading,] the comparison drawn with the farmer is very expressive,. He has sown the field and has before him several months of patient and constant waiting, but he knows that in the meantime the seed completes its cycle, thanks to the autumn and spring rains. The farmer is not a fatalist but the model of a mentality which unites faith and reason in a balanced way. For on the one hand he knows the laws of nature and does his work well, and on the other, he trusts in Providence, because certain fundamental things are not in his hands but in the hands of God. Patience and constancy are truly a synthesis between human commitment and confidence in God.

“Establish your hearts”, Scripture says. How can we do this? How can we strengthen our hearts, already somewhat frail in themselves and rendered even more unstable by the culture in which we are immersed. Help is not lacking; it is the Word of God. In fact, while everything else passes and changes, the Word of the Lord is not transient. If the events of life make us feel bewildered and every certainty seems to crumble, we have a compass to guide us, we have an anchor to prevent us from drifting away.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

DECEMBER 16, 2007

Is Joy Still Possible Today?

Yes, joy enters the hearts of those who put themselves at the service of the lowly and poor. 

The mystery of Bethlehem reveals to us God-with-us, the God close to us and not merely in the spatial and temporal sense; he is close to us because he has, as it were, “espoused” our humanity; he has taken our condition upon himself, choosing to be like us in all things save sin in order to make us become like him. Christian joy thus springs from this certainty: God is close, he is with me, he is with us, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, as a friend and faithful spouse. And this joy endures, even in trials, in suffering itself. It does not remain only on the surface; it dwells in the depths of the person who entrusts himself to God and trusts in him.

Some people ask: but is this joy still possible today? Men and women of every age and social condition, happy to dedicate their existence to others, give us the answer with their lives! Was not Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta an unforgettable witness of true Gospel joy in our time? She lived in touch daily with wretchedness, human degradation and death. Her soul knew the trials of the dark night of faith, yet she gave everyone God’s smile. In one of her writings, we read: “We wait impatiently for paradise, where God is, but it is in our power to be in paradise even here on earth and from this moment. Being happy with God means loving like him, helping like him, giving like him, serving like him” (The Joy of Giving to Others, 1987, p. 143). Yes, joy enters the hearts of those who put themselves at the service of the lowly and poor. God abides in those who love like this and their souls rejoice. If, instead, people make an idol of happiness, they lose their way and it is truly hard for them to find the joy of which Jesus speaks. Unfortunately, this is what is proposed by cultures that replace God by individual happiness, mindsets that find their emblematic effect in seeking pleasure at all costs, in spreading drug use as an escape, a refuge in artificial paradises that later prove to be entirely deceptive.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

homilies

Pope Saint John Paul II

October 16, 1978 – April 2, 2005

3rd Sunday of Advent (Year A)

DECEMBER 13, 1998

Rejoice in the Lord Always

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! The Lord is near” (Entrance antiphon).

It is from this pressing invitation to rejoice, which characterizes today’s liturgy, that the Third Sunday of Advent, traditionally called “Gaudete” Sunday, takes its name. This is actually the first word of today’s Mass in Latin: “Gaudete”, that is, rejoice, be glad because the Lord is near!

The Gospel text helps us to understand the reason for our joy, as it underscores the great mystery of salvation that takes place at Christmas. The Evangelist Matthew speaks to us of Jesus, “he who is to come” (Mt 11:3), who reveals himself as the awaited Messiah through his saving work: “the blind receive their sight and the lame walk … the poor have good news preached to them” (Mt 11:5). He comes to console, to restore serenity and hope to the suffering, to those tired and discouraged in life.

There are still many, even in our day, who are enveloped in the darkness of ignorance and have not received the light of faith; many are lame and have difficulty in walking on the right paths; many are disappointed or discouraged; many are affected by the leprosy of sin and evil and are waiting to be saved. It is to all these that the “good news” of the Gospel, entrusted to the Christian community, is addressed. The Church, on the threshold of the third millennium, vigorously proclaims that Christ is the true liberator of man, the one who leads all humanity back to the paternal and merciful embrace of God.

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SOURCE: The Holy See Archive at the Vatican Website © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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