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Advent Weekday on December 21

Daily Mass Readings for an Advent Weekday on December 21

  • First ReadingSong of Songs 2:8-14: The lover, agile and strong, eagerly approaches. He invites his beloved to join him, celebrating the end of winter and the beauty of spring, desiring to see and hear her.
  • Alternate First ReadingZephaniah 3:14-18a: Zion is called to rejoice as the Lord has removed judgment, defeated enemies, and dwells among them as a mighty savior, rejoicing and renewing them with His love.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 33: The just are called to praise the Lord with music and songs of joy. God’s eternal plan prevails, blessing the nation that chooses Him. Trusting in His name, hearts rejoice.
  • Gospel Luke 1:39-45: Mary’s arrival, Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, joyfully acknowledged the blessedness of Mary and her unborn child, Jesus. Elizabeth’s own child leaped in her womb at Mary’s greeting, signifying the significance of Mary’s faith and the fulfillment of God’s promise.

And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.

Luke 1:43-44

Themes for the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 21

  • Celebration of Love and New Beginnings: The Song of Songs passage, depicting a lover’s eager approach and the beauty of spring, symbolizes a celebration of love and the renewal of life. It can be seen as a metaphor for God’s love and the new life brought about by the coming of Christ.
  • Rejoicing in God’s Salvation: Zephaniah’s call for Zion to rejoice over the Lord’s presence and salvation resonates with the theme of joy in Advent. It emphasizes God’s role as a savior and His transformative love, which brings renewal and rejoicing.
  • Praise and Trust in God’s Plan: Psalm 33, calling for joyful praise and trust in God’s eternal plan, aligns with the spirit of Advent. It invites believers to rejoice in God’s sovereignty and to trust in His providential care.
  • The Visitation and Joyful Acknowledgment: The Gospel account of Mary visiting Elizabeth and the joyous acknowledgment of Jesus’ blessedness by Elizabeth highlights the joy and recognition of God’s work in bringing salvation. Elizabeth’s reaction, guided by the Holy Spirit, emphasizes the significance of Mary’s faith.
  • Recognition of God’s Promise: Elizabeth’s declaration of Mary’s blessedness and her unborn child’s reaction point to the recognition of the fulfillment of God’s promise in Jesus. It invites reflection on recognizing and welcoming God’s work in our lives.
  • Preparation for the Lord’s Coming: These readings, with their themes of love, joy, and recognition of God’s promises, encourage preparation for the Lord’s coming. They invite believers to celebrate God’s love, rejoice in His salvation, and acknowledge the fulfillment of His promises.

Thoughts for an Advent Weekday on December 21

The Gospel reading for an Advent weekday on December 21, from Luke 1:39-45, brings us into the intimate and joyous encounter between Mary and Elizabeth, known as the Visitation. This passage is deeply imbued with themes of joy, recognition, and the fulfillment of God’s promises. The joyful reactions of Elizabeth and her unborn child, John the Baptist, to Mary’s presence highlight the profound significance of Mary carrying the Savior.

This scene is a beautiful reflection of Advent joy and anticipation. As John leaps in Elizabeth’s womb, we are reminded of the inherent joy that comes from encountering Christ. This event prompts us to reflect on our own reactions to Christ’s presence in our lives. In the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, in prayer, and in our encounters with others, do we recognize and rejoice in the Lord’s presence as Elizabeth and John did?

Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, blesses Mary and her unborn child, acknowledging Mary’s faith and the fulfillment of God’s promise. This acknowledgment is not only a testament to Mary’s faith but also to the role that each believer plays in the story of salvation. Just as Elizabeth recognized the work of God in Mary’s life, we too are called to see and honor God’s presence and action in the lives of those around us.

This Advent season challenges us to cultivate a disposition of reverence and joy for the ways in which God works through others. It asks us to consider: How do we respond to the presence of Christ in our community, our family, and our church? Do we acknowledge and celebrate God’s work in others with the same joy and spirit of blessing as Elizabeth?

The First Reading and the Responsorial Psalm complement the Gospel’s theme of joy and divine presence. Whether in the intimate and tender imagery of the Song of Songs or in the assurance of God’s saving love in Zephaniah, these readings celebrate the closeness and affectionate care of God. The Psalm calls for rejoicing in the Lord, urging the just to praise Him with music and joy. Together, these readings form a tapestry of celebration, highlighting God’s enduring love and faithfulness.

In our Advent journey, let these readings inspire us to a deeper joy and appreciation for the many ways we encounter the Lord. As we prepare for the coming of Christ, let us do so with hearts open to joy, eyes keen to recognize His presence, and spirits ready to respond with the same exuberance as Elizabeth and John the Baptist.


Jesus, you are with me every day. Help me to recognize you and know the joy of your presence. Amen.

Homilies and Reflections for an Advent Weekday on December 21

Word on Fire: The Ark of the Covenant

In his reflection for an Advent Weekday on December 21, Bishop Barron underscores Mary’s role as the new Ark of the Covenant. When Mary visits Elizabeth in the hill country of Judah, the same area where David found the original ark, she symbolizes the presence of God. Elizabeth’s declaration acknowledges Mary as the mother of the Lord, emphasizing the divine nature of her child. The joyful leap of the unborn John the Baptist at Mary’s arrival echoes David’s dance before the Ark, signifying recognition and worship of the divine king. This event highlights the deep connection between Old and New Testament themes, portraying Mary as the vessel bringing God into the world.

USCCB Reflection: Hopeful Expectation

This USCCB video reflection for an Advent weekday on December 21st delves into the story of Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth, capturing the core of Advent. This biblical episode is marked by profound joy and anticipation as both women await Jesus’ birth. Their joy, rooted in deep faith, contrasts with fleeting worldly pleasures, emphasizing Jesus as the source of true happiness. Mary and Elizabeth, humble and grateful, embody the joy that comes from God’s mercy. The reflection invites us to seek this deep, enduring joy in our lives, especially during the Christmas season, by focusing on Jesus and becoming instruments of peace, following the example of these two faithful women.

Frequently Asked Questions for an Advent Weekday on December 21

What day of the week is the Advent Weekday on December 21?

The next date is Saturday December 21, 2024.

What are the Mass readings for an Advent Weekday on December 21?

The Mass readings forSaturday December 21, 2024 are:
First Reading – Song of Songs 2:8-14: The Lover’s Call
Alternate First Reading – Zephaniah 3:14-18a: Zion’s Joyful Celebration
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 33: Rejoice in the Lord’s Faithfulness
Gospel – Luke 1:39-45: Mary Visits Elizabeth

What does the first reading for an Advent Weekday on December 21 symbolize?

Song of Songs 2:8-14, with its imagery of lovers rejoicing in spring, is often seen as a metaphor for God’s love and the joyous anticipation of Christ’s coming in Advent. It symbolizes the end of waiting and the celebration of the new life that Jesus brings.

What can the first reading for an Advent Weekday on December 21 teach us about spiritual longing and fulfillment?

Song of Songs 2:8-14 illustrates the deep yearning for a divine relationship and the fulfillment found in God’s presence, paralleling our longing for Christ.

How can the imagery of spring in the first reading for an Advent Weekday on December 21 inform our Advent anticipation?

The transformation from winter to spring in Song of Songs 2:8-14 can be seen as a metaphor for the renewal and hope brought by Christ’s coming.

How does the alternate first reading for an Advent Weekday on December 21 relate?

Zephaniah’s message of joy and salvation, with God dwelling among His people as a savior, resonates with Advent. Zephaniah 3:14-18a foreshadows the joy of Christ’s birth and His role as the mighty savior who renews humanity with His love.

In what ways can Zephaniah’s message of renewal in the the alternate first reading for an Advent Weekday on December 21 be applied in contemporary life?

Zephaniah 3:14-18a encourages finding renewal in God’s love, especially during difficult times, and trusting in His ability to transform situations.

What is the significance of the responsorial psalm for an Advent Weekday on December 21?

Psalm 33’s call for the just to rejoice in the Lord aligns with Advent’s theme of joyful anticipation. It emphasizes trust in God’s eternal plan and blessings, reflecting the hope and joy of awaiting Christ’s birth.

What does the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 21 signify?

Luke 1:39-45 recounts Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, highlighting the joy and Holy Spirit’s presence surrounding Jesus’ impending birth. This passage embodies Advent’s spirit of joy, blessedness, and recognition of God’s fulfillment of promises.

How does Mary’s encounter with Elizabeth in the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 21 inspire our own faith journey?

Luke 1:39-45 exemplifies the joy and affirmation found in communal faith experiences, encouraging sharing faith journeys and supporting one another.

How can Elizabeth’s reaction to Mary in the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 21 inspire us?

Elizabeth’s joy and recognition of Mary’s blessedness in Luke 1:39-45, inspired by the Holy Spirit, serve as a model for how believers might joyfully anticipate and recognize the significance of Christ’s coming during Advent.

What lessons can be drawn from the joy and recognition expressed in the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 21?

Luke 1:39-45 teaches the importance of recognizing God’s work in our lives and the lives of others, and responding with joy and faith.

What overarching message do these readings for an Advent Weekday on December 21 offer?

These readings collectively emphasize themes of joy, anticipation, and the fulfillment of God’s promises. They encourage believers to rejoice in the nearness of Christ’s birth and to reflect on the profound impact of His coming in renewing and transforming the world.

How do these readings for an Advent Weekday on December 21 collectively speak to the theme of divine intimacy and presence?

They emphasize God’s close involvement in human affairs, from the romantic imagery in Song of Songs to the divine interventions in Zephaniah and Luke.

In what ways do these readings for an Advent Weekday on December 21 challenge us to see God’s action in unexpected places and people?

They invite us to look for God’s presence in everyday encounters and to be open to His action through various means, including through those we might not expect, like Mary and Elizabeth.

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