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Advent Weekday on December 23

Daily Mass Readings for the Advent Weekday on December 23

  • First ReadingMalachi 3:1-4, 23-24: The Lord announces sending a messenger to prepare His way. The Lord’s arrival will be a time of refining and purification, particularly for the Levites, ensuring that sacrifices please Him as in ancient times. Elijah will return before this great day.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 25: I ask the LORD to make His ways known to me, to teach me His paths. Guide me in Your truth, O God my Savior. You are good and upright, leading sinners and the humble in justice, showing Your ways of kindness to those who honor Your covenant.
  • Gospel Luke 1:57-66: Elizabeth gave birth to a son, and her community rejoiced at God’s mercy. Contrary to tradition, she insisted he be named John. Zechariah, confirming this name on a tablet, miraculously regained his speech, praising God. This event inspired awe and speculation about John’s destined role, recognizing God’s presence in his life.

So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, ‘John is his name’, and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God.

Luke 1:62-64

Themes for the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 23

  • Preparation and Purification: Malachi’s prophecy about the coming of a messenger to prepare the way for the Lord and the subsequent purification speaks to the Advent themes of preparation and purification. It calls believers to ready themselves for Christ’s coming by refining their lives and hearts.
  • The Role of John the Baptist: The prophecy of Elijah’s return, which is fulfilled in John the Baptist, emphasizes his role as a forerunner to Christ. This theme aligns with the Gospel reading, which details John’s birth and the recognition of his special role in God’s plan.
  • Divine Guidance and Teaching: Psalm 25’s plea for God’s guidance and teaching in His ways reflects a desire for spiritual growth and understanding. It resonates with the season’s call to deepen one’s relationship with God and to walk in His truth.
  • Zechariah’s Restoration and Praise: The restoration of Zechariah’s speech upon confirming his son’s name as John highlights the fulfillment of God’s promises. His subsequent praise underscores the proper response to witnessing God’s work – glorifying and acknowledging Him.
  • Recognizing God’s Merciful Actions: The community’s recognition of God’s mercy in Elizabeth’s childbirth and the miraculous events surrounding John’s naming point to recognizing God’s merciful actions in our lives and the world.
  • Anticipation of Salvation: As Advent nears its close, these readings intensify the anticipation of salvation that comes through Christ. They invite reflection on the roles of various figures in salvation history and how we might also participate in God’s plan.

Thoughts for an Advent Weekday on December 23

On December 23, as Advent nears its conclusion, the Gospel reading from Luke 1:57-66 draws us into the miraculous events surrounding the birth of John the Baptist. This narrative is imbued with themes of wonder, divine intervention, and breaking with tradition. The birth of John and the restoration of Zechariah’s speech are not only miraculous in their own right but also symbolize the breaking of old patterns and the ushering in of a new era of God’s action.

The decision to name the child John, a name not belonging to any of their relatives, signifies a departure from convention and an alignment with God’s unique plan. This act of faith and obedience by Zechariah, who was struck mute for his disbelief and then regained his speech upon affirming God’s will, is a powerful testament to the transformative power of embracing God’s purposes. In this Advent season, this story invites us to consider our own willingness to be amazed by God working in our lives. Are we open to seeing and participating in the unexpected ways God might be moving, breaking our routines and calling us into something new and extraordinary?

The reaction of the people in the story – their amazement and recognition that the hand of the Lord was with John – speaks to the human capacity for wonder when confronted with God’s actions. Their response is a reminder that God’s work in our lives and in the world often defies our expectations and conventions.

In the routine of our daily lives, it can be easy to become desensitized to the wonder of God’s presence and action. Yet, Advent is a season that calls us back to a sense of holy curiosity and awe. It challenges us to stay alert to the ways in which God is moving in our lives, often in the most unexpected ways and through the most unexpected people. As we prepare for the coming of Christ, let us cultivate a heart that is open to the miraculous, ready to be amazed and transformed by God’s living presence among us.

The readings from Malachi and Psalm 25 complement the theme of divine intervention and guidance. Malachi speaks of a messenger who will prepare the way for the Lord, a role fulfilled by John the Baptist, heralding a time of purification and renewal. The Psalm expresses a desire for God’s guidance and truth, a fitting prayer as we anticipate the coming of Jesus.

These readings collectively underscore the theme of Advent as a time of preparation, not just in commemorating Christ’s birth, but in being open to the ways God wants to work in and through us. As we approach the celebration of Christmas, let us do so with hearts ready to be amazed, eyes open to see God’s work in our lives, and spirits willing to embrace the new paths He is forging for us.

Prayer

Father, you are always at work in my life. Open my heart so that I can be aware of your constant presence. Amen.

Homilies and Reflections for the Advent Weekday on December 23

Word on Fire: Liberation from Slavery

In his reflection for the Advent Weekday on December 23, Bishop Barron focuses on the Canticle of Zechariah. He highlights two significant lines: “God has come to his people and set them free” and “He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of his servant David.” Barron interprets these lines as God’s desire to liberate humanity from the slavery of sin, such as pride, envy, anger, and greed. The ‘mighty Savior’ from David’s lineage signifies the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel, with Zechariah prophesying the eternal reign of David’s descendant, thereby connecting Jesus’ coming to Israel’s history and God’s plan of salvation.

USCCB Reflection: Savor the Journey

This USCCB video reflection for the Advent Weekday on December 23 points out that in the final days of Advent, the focus shifts from anticipating Jesus’ second coming to celebrating his birth. This period is marked by childlike excitement and reflection on the Creed’s words about Jesus’ incarnation. John the Baptist’s birth and mission, prophesied by Zachariah, symbolize the dawn breaking upon those in darkness. Pope Francis calls us to emulate John the Baptist, sharing the joy of the Gospel and guiding others towards peace. This season is a reminder to share the good news of Jesus, the light in our darkness, and to walk in the way of peace, celebrating God’s closeness to humanity.

Frequently Asked Questions for an Advent Weekday on December 23

What day of the week is the Advent Weekday on December 23?

The next date is Monday December 23, 2024.

What are the Mass readings for an Advent Weekday on December 23?

The Mass readings for Monday December 23, 2024 are:
First Reading – Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24: The Coming of the Lord
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 25: Guidance in the Lord’s Ways
Gospel – Luke 1:57-66: John’s Birth and Naming

What is the message of the first reading for an Advent Weekday on December 23?

Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24 prophesies the coming of a messenger to prepare the way for the Lord, referring to a time of refining and purification. In Advent, this is seen as foretelling the roles of John the Baptist and Jesus, heralding a new era of spiritual renewal and preparation.

How can Malachi’s message of refinement and purification in the first reading for an Advent Weekday on December 23 be applied today?

Reflect on personal spiritual growth and purification, especially during Advent, as preparation for celebrating Christ’s birth and embracing His teachings.

What does the prophecy of Elijah’s return in the first reading for an Advent Weekday on December 23 mean for us in Advent?

Elijah’s return symbolizes the restoration of faith and order before the coming of the Messiah, encouraging a renewal of faith during the Advent season.

How does the responsorial psalm for an Advent Weekday on December 23 connect?

Psalm 25’s plea for guidance in God’s truth and ways resonates with Advent’s call for spiritual preparation and seeking divine direction. It reflects the season’s focus on aligning with God’s will and learning from Him in anticipation of Christ’s coming.

What does the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 23 signify?

The birth of John the Baptist and Zechariah’s restoration of speech signify God’s intervention and the fulfillment of His promises. Luke 1:57-66 emphasizes the miraculous nature of God’s plan and prepares believers for the imminent birth of Jesus.

In what ways does the birth of John the Baptist in the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 23 connect to Malachi’s prophecy?

ohn’s birth is the fulfillment of the prophecy about the messenger preparing the way for the Lord, heralding the imminent arrival of Jesus.

How can Zechariah’s and Elizabeth’s experiences in the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 23 inspire us?

Zechariah’s and Elizabeth’s experiences, marked by patience, faith, and divine intervention, serve as inspirations during Advent. They encourage believers to trust in God’s timing and to be open to His miraculous works, even when they defy expectations.

What is the significance of naming the child John in the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 23?

The insistence on naming the child John, contrary to tradition, signifies a break from the past and the start of a new divine action. It emphasizes that John’s role in salvation history is unique and divinely ordained, setting the stage for Jesus’ ministry.

How does Zechariah’s regained speech in the Gospel for an Advent Weekday on December 23 symbolize the power of God’s promises?

The restoration of his speech upon fulfilling God’s command demonstrates the reliability of God’s word and the fulfillment of His promises.

What overarching message do these readings offer for an Advent Weekday on December 23?

These readings collectively emphasize the themes of divine preparation, guidance, and the fulfillment of God’s promises. They encourage believers to reflect on the miraculous nature of God’s actions and to prepare their hearts for the coming of Christ with anticipation and joy.

In what ways do these readings for an Advent Weekday on December 23 challenge our understanding of societal norms and divine purpose?

They encourage questioning traditional expectations and recognizing that God’s purposes often transcend societal norms.

How can the anticipation and fulfillment seen in these readings for an Advent Weekday on December 23 inspire us in times of waiting?

They offer hope and reassurance that God fulfills His promises in His timing, encouraging patience and faith during periods of anticipation.

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