3rd Sunday of Advent, Year C

PAPAL MESSAGESTHIS WEEKMONTHLY INTENTIONS

Pope Francis

March 13, 2013 – Present

 

DECEMBER 12, 2021

Life has a Task for Us

Life is not meaningless; it is not left up to chance. No! It is a gift the Lord grants us, saying to us: discover who you are…

The Gospel reminds us of something important: life has a task for us… Let us ask ourselves: what should we do concretely in these days as we draw near to Christmas? How can I do my part? Let’s choose something concrete, even if it is small, that is adapted to our situation in life, and let’s continue doing it to prepare us for this Christmas. For example: I can call a person who is alone, visit that elderly person or that person who is ill, do something to serve a poor person, someone in need. Even still: maybe I need to ask forgiveness, grant forgiveness, clarify a situation, pay a debt. Perhaps I have neglected prayer and after so much time has elapsed, it’s time to ask the Lord for forgiveness. Brothers and sisters, let’s find something concrete and do it!

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

DECEMBER 16, 2018

A Reason for Joy

The awareness that we can always turn to the Lord in our difficulties, and that he never rejects our invocations, is a great reason for joy.

On this third Sunday of Advent, the liturgy invites us to joy. Listen carefully: to joy. The prophet Zephaniah addresses these words to a small group of the people of Israel: “Sing aloud, O Daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!” (3:14) Shout with joy, rejoice, exult: this is this Sunday’s invitation.

The inhabitants of the Holy City are called to rejoice because the Lord has taken away his judgments against them (cf v. 15). God has forgiven, he did not wish to punish! As a result the people no longer have any reason for sadness. There is no longer reason for desolation, but rather, everything leads to joyful gratitude toward God who always wishes to deliver and save those he loves. And the Lord’s love for his people is endless, tantamount to the tenderness of a father for his children, of a groom for his bride, as Zephanaiah again says: “he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (v. 17). This is — so it is called — the Sunday of joy: the third Sunday of Advent, before Christmas.

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

DECEMBER 13, 2015

“What Shall We Do?”

It is necessary to repent, to change direction and take the path of justice, solidarity, sobriety: these are the essential values of a fully human and genuinely Christian life.

In today’s Gospel, there is a question posed three times: “What shall we do?” (Lk 3:10, 12, 14). It is raised to John the Baptist by three categories of people: First, the crowd in general; second, the publicans or tax collectors; and, third, some soldiers. Each of these groups questions the prophet on what must be done to implement the conversion that he is preaching.

John’s reply to the question of the crowd is sharing essential goods. He told the first group, the crowd, to share basic necessities, and therefore says: “He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise” (v. 11). Then, he tells the second group, the tax collectors, to collect no more than the amount owed. What does this mean? No taking ‘bribes’, John the Baptist is clear. And he tells the third group, the soldiers, not to extort anything from anyone and to be content with their wages (cf. v. 14).

There are three answers to the three questions of these groups. Three answers for an identical path of repentance, which is manifested in concrete commitments to justice and solidarity. It is the path that Jesus points to in all his preaching: the path of diligent love for neighbour.

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

homilies

3rd Sunday of Advent, Year C

Pope Benedict XVI

April 19, 2005 – February 28, 2013

DECEMBER 16, 2012

Justice and Charity

Justice and charity are not in opposition, but are both necessary and complete each other

The Baptist says, “He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise” (v. 11). Here we can see a criterion of justice, motivated by charity.

Justice requires that the imbalance between the one who has more than enough and the one who lacks the necessary be overcome; charity prompts us to be attentive to others and to meet their needs, instead of seeking justification to defend one’s own interests.

Justice and charity are not in opposition, but are both necessary and complete each other. “Love — caritas — will always prove necessary, even in the most just society”, because “There will always be situations of material need where help in the form of concrete love of neighbour is indispensable” (Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, n. 28).

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

DECEMBER 13, 2009

Rejoice in the Lord Always

The blessing of the “Bambinelli” [Baby Jesus figurines] as they are called in Rome, reminds us that the crib is a school of life where we can learn the secret of true joy. 

We have now reached the Third Sunday of Advent. Today in the liturgy the Apostle Paul’s invitation rings out: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice…. The Lord is at hand!” (Phil 4: 4-5). While Mother Church accompanies us towards Holy Christmas she helps us rediscover the meaning and taste of Christian joy, so different from that of the world.

On this Sunday, according to a beautiful tradition, the children of Rome come to have the Pope bless the Baby Jesus figurines that they will put in their cribs. And in fact, I see here in St Peter’s Square a great number of children and young people, together with their parents, teachers and catechists. Dear friends, I greet you all with deep affection and thank you for coming. It gives me great joy to know that the custom of creating a crib scene has been preserved in your families.

Yet it is not enough to repeat a traditional gesture, however important it may be. It is necessary to seek to live in the reality of daily life that the crib represents, namely, the love of Christ, his humility, his poverty. This is what St Francis did at Greccio: he recreated a live presentation of the nativity scene in order to contemplate and worship it, but above all to be better able to put into practice the message of the Son of God who for love of us emptied himself completely and made himself a tiny child.

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

DECEMBER 17, 2006

Life’s Wounded and Orphans of Joy

The invitation to rejoice is not an alienating message nor a sterile palliative, but on the contrary, it is a salvific prophecy, an appeal for rescue that starts with inner renewal. 

Let us think of our brothers and sisters who, especially in the Middle East, in several regions of Africa and other parts of the world, are experiencing the drama of war:  what joy can they live? What will their Christmas be like?

Let us think of all the sick and lonely people who, in addition to being tried in their body, are also sorely tried in their soul because they often feel abandoned:  how can we share joy with them without disrespecting their suffering?

But let us also think of those people, especially the young, who have lost their sense of true joy and seek it in vain where it is impossible to find it:  in the exasperated race to self-affirmation and success, in false amusements, in consumerism, in moments of drunkenness, in the artificial paradise of drugs and every form of alienation. We must obviously face the liturgy today and its “Rejoice” with these tragic realities.

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

homilies

3rd Sunday of Advent, Year C

Pope Saint John Paul II

October 16, 1978 – April 2, 2005

DECEMBER 14, 2003

The Joy of Loving

An unmistakable feature of Christian joy is that it can go hand in hand with suffering,,,

Advent is a season of rejoicing because it revives the expectation of the most joyful event in history:  the birth of the Son of God by the Virgin Mary.

To know that God is not distant but close, not indifferent but compassionate, not aloof but a merciful Father who follows us lovingly with respect for our freedom:  all this is a cause of deep joy which the alternating ups and downs of daily life cannot touch.

An unmistakable feature of Christian joy is that it can go hand in hand with suffering, since it is based entirely on love. Indeed, the Lord who “is near”, to the point of becoming man, comes to fill us with his joy, the joy of loving. Only in this way can we understand the serene joy of the martyrs even amid trial, or the smile of saints, full of charity for those who are suffering:  a smile that does not offend but consoles.

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

DECEMBER 14, 1997

Jesus, Source of Our Peace, is Coming

For this reason, despite difficulties and problems, we must all be full of holy optimism.

The liturgy for the Third Sunday of Advent, also called “Gaudete” Sunday, invites us to intensify the interior pace of our pilgrimage to the Lord who comes to save us. Jesus, source of our peace, is coming. For this reason, despite difficulties and problems, we must all be full of holy optimism. St Paul urges us: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Phil 4:4).

This climate of serenity and joy typical of the Christian Christmas can already be felt today, here in St Peter’s Square, thanks to the Christmas tree and the crib which are being set up. It is all the more evident thanks to the presence of so many Roman boys and girls who, following a beautiful custom, have brought figurines of the Baby Jesus from their own cribs for the Pope to bless.

I address you in particular, dear children. Christmas is the feast of a Child. Therefore it is your feast! You wait for it impatiently and prepare for it with joy, counting the days until 25 December. I gladly bless the figurines of the Christ Child and the cribs you are making at home. I bless you and the children of every part of the world, especially on the American continent, who were frequently recalled by the Synod Fathers. May the Infant Jesus fill each of them with joy, especially those tried by physical suffering or the lack of affection.

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

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