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3rd Sunday of Advent Year B

Mass Readings for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B – Gaudete Sunday

  • First ReadingIsaiah 61:1-2A, 10-11: Anointed by God, I am sent to bring hope to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, and proclaim freedom. Clothed in salvation, I joyfully await God’s justice to flourish globally.
  • Responsorial PsalmLuke 1: My soul magnifies the Lord, rejoicing in God my Savior. He has blessed me, His humble servant, and shown mercy across generations, fulfilling His promise with compassion.
  • Second Reading1 Thessalonians 5:16-24: Rejoice always, pray ceaselessly, and give thanks in all situations. Embrace the Spirit, discern truth, and avoid evil. May God sanctify you wholly for Christ’s return, fulfilling His promise.
  • Gospel John 1:6-8, 19-28: Sent by God, John the Baptist testified to the coming Light, making clear he was not the Christ, Elijah, nor the Prophet. Questioned by Jewish leaders, he identified himself as the voice prophesied by Isaiah, preparing the way for the Lord. Despite his significant role, John humbly acknowledged the greater one to follow, whose sandals he felt unworthy to untie.

I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.

John 1:23

Themes for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B

The readings for the 3rd Sunday in Advent Year B (Gaudete Sunday) encourage us to rejoice because our salvation is near. The first reading foreshadows the coming of the Messiah, the anointed one. The psalm is the Magnificat – “My soul rejoices in my God.” The second reading encourages us to rejoice, pray, and give thanks. And in the gospel John the Baptist tells the priests that he is not the Christ, but that the Messiah is coming.

  • Witness to the Light: John the Baptist’s role as a witness to the light, who is Jesus, is emphasized. This theme highlights the importance of testifying to Jesus as the true Light who brings divine truth and life.
  • Identity and Mission of John the Baptist: John’s clear denial of being the Christ, Elijah, or the Prophet reflects his understanding of his own identity and mission. This theme illustrates the importance of knowing one’s role in God’s plan and staying true to it.
  • Humility in Service: John’s declaration of unworthiness to untie Jesus’ sandals showcases his humility. It teaches that true greatness in God’s kingdom comes from recognizing one’s own humbleness and the superiority of Jesus.
  • Preparation for the Messiah: John’s role in preparing the way for Jesus underscores the theme of making oneself ready for the Messiah’s coming. It calls for spiritual readiness and openness to receive Christ.

See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B.

Resources for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B

Sunday December 13, 2026

Who Are You Do Lesson Plan

Who Are You? A Lesson Plan on Identity

The “Who Are You?” lesson plan complements the gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B, John 1:6-8, 19-28. This Gospel passage, where John the Baptist defines his identity not by who he is, but by who he is not (“I am not the Christ”), resonates with the lesson’s focus on exploring identity. In Advent, a time of preparation and reflection, this lesson invites the faithful to contemplate their own identities. Like John, believers are encouraged to understand themselves not just in terms of worldly roles or talents, but in relation to Christ.


Litany of St. John the Baptist

The Litany of St. John the Baptist is a prayer that echoes the themes of the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B, particularly highlighting the unique role and identity of John the Baptist as depicted in the Gospel. This litany invokes various titles of John the Baptist, such as “Prophet of the Most High,” “Forerunner of Jesus Christ,” and “Voice crying out in the wilderness,” each reflecting aspects of his mission to prepare the way for Christ. These titles resonate with the Advent theme of preparation and anticipation.

Help Me Know Who I Am An Identity Prayer

Help Me Know Who I Am

This prayer resonates with the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B, and its focus on John the Baptist (John 1:6-8, 19-28). This prayer seeks to understand one’s identity through God’s perspective, akin to John’s awareness of his role as the one pointing to Christ, not as the Messiah himself. In Advent, a time for reflection and preparation, this prayer encourages believers to recognize themselves as God’s beloved and to live in a way that directs others to Him, embodying the humility and mission of John the Baptist​​.

1 Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians: A Practical Guide

This resource offers insights relevant to the second reading for 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24). This guide highlights themes of faith, love, hope, and the anticipation of Christ’s Second Coming, key aspects of Advent. It emphasizes living a life pleasing to God, a message akin to John the Baptist’s call in the Gospel to prepare for the Lord’s coming. The focus on the Second Coming, a time of joy and triumph, parallels the joyous anticipation of Advent, urging believers to live in readiness and faithfulness.

the gospel of john

Resources and Reflections for the Gospel of John

The resources and reflections on the Gospel of John will provide background on the Gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B, John 1:6-8, 19-28. This Gospel is noted for its deep spiritual insights, emphasizing Jesus’ divinity, the importance of belief for eternal life, the centrality of the Eucharist, and the imperative of love in Christian life. These themes align with Advent’s focus on preparation and reflection. John the Baptist’s role, as highlighted in the Advent readings, serves as a precursor to these themes, preparing the way for Jesus, the embodiment of divine love and the key to eternal life. This connection underscores the continuity and depth of the Gospel message throughout the liturgical year.

Advent Ideas for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B

Why Linus Drops His Blanket

Why Linus Drops His Blanket in A Charlie Brown Christmas

Learn about the special moment when Linus, traditionally clinging to his security blanket, drops it as he recites “fear not,” it symbolizes the release of fear and trust in God’s providence. This act can be paralleled with the messages in the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B readings, especially the call to rejoice and trust in God’s promises (Isaiah 61:1-2A, 10-11) and John the Baptist’s role in preparing the way for Christ without fear or hesitation (John 1:6-8, 19-28). Linus’s gesture embodies the Advent spirit of hope, trust, and anticipation of the Lord’s coming, a time to let go of our fears and trust in God’s plan.

The O Antiphons

Pray the O Antiphons

The O Antiphons, used in the Liturgy of the Hours from December 17 to 23, employ Old Testament imagery to herald the coming of Christ. Each antiphon presents a different title for the Messiah, offering profound insights into His role and impact on our lives. This practice aligns with the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B themes of anticipation and reflection seen in the readings, particularly Isaiah 61:1-2A, 10-11, and the Gospel of John 1:6-8, 19-28. Incorporating the O Antiphons into Advent practices fosters a deeper understanding of the Messiah’s coming and our own transformation through Him.

Let the Spirit of Advent Visit

Let the Spirit of Advent Visit

This meditation invites families to pause and assess their Advent journey, in line with the introspective nature of the liturgical readings. On the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B, this reflective practice, encompassing questions about personal growth, family unity, and biblical insights, echoes the anticipatory and preparatory spirit of Advent as portrayed in Isaiah’s prophecy and John the Baptist’s message. Such reflection enhances the understanding and observance of Advent, emphasizing readiness for Christ’s coming.

Make Some Christmas Ornaments and Give Them Away

Make Some Christmas Ornaments and Give Them Away

Creating and gifting Christmas ornaments to others, especially to those who might feel isolated like the elderly or shut-ins, is an act of joy and kindness. This aligns with the themes of the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B readings, particularly the call for joy and preparation for Christ’s coming. The gesture of giving mirrors the Advent message of sharing love and light in anticipation of Jesus’ arrival, reminiscent of John the Baptist’s role in preparing the way for the Lord.

Crown of the Virgin: An Ancient Meditation on Mary’s Beauty, Virtue, and Sanctity

See this illuminating mirror of the beauty and splendor of Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God, portraying her as the refulgent and immaculate image of her Divine Son. St. Ildephonsus provides a set of powerful, imaginative, and lyrical meditations, focusing on Mary’s splendor, beauty, and sanctity. It offers an in-depth reflection on the virtues and significance of Mary in Catholic theology, emphasizing her role and attributes as the mother of Jesus Christ. Perfect for your Advent journey. (Sponsored)


More Advent Ideas

These resources emphasize the season’s dual nature: remembering Christ’s incarnation and preparing for His second coming. It advocates for spiritual readiness, increased prayer, and acts of charity, moving away from commercialization towards the true essence of Christmas. The liturgical shift to rose on Gaudete Sunday symbolizes joy and anticipation, capturing Advent’s spirit of preparation and reflection. This aligns with the themes of the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B, focusing on readiness for Christ’s coming as reflected in the readings​​.

Homilies and Reflections for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B

Sunday December 13, 2026

A Message of Hope for Advent

In his reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B, Jeff Cavins focuses on the readings from John and Isaiah, emphasizing preparation for the coming of Christ. He interprets John the Baptist’s role as a forerunner, making way for Jesus, and highlights the themes of new beginnings and freedom. Cavins connects this to the idea of Jubilee from Isaiah, a time of liberation and renewal. He encourages listeners, especially those facing challenges, to see Advent as a time of hopeful preparation for the transformative arrival of Jesus, who brings newness and light into our lives.

A Year of Favor from the Lord

In Bishop Robert Barron’s homily for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B, he reflects on “Gaudete Sunday,” a time for rejoicing, as commanded by the Church. He connects the readings from Isaiah, Luke, Thessalonians, and John to the theme of liberation and joy. Isaiah’s prophecy is seen as a foreshadowing of Christ’s life, emphasizing Jesus as the anointed one who brings good news to the poor, both economically and spiritually. Barron interprets Jesus’ mission as liberating people from spiritual poverty and imprisonment, symbolizing the soul’s journey toward love and transcendence. He concludes with the image of Christ as the bridegroom, bringing salvation and justice, urging listeners to rejoice in the anticipation of Christmas and the Messiah’s liberating presence.

One Who is Coming

In Scott Hahn’s reflection on the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B, he delves into the role of John the Baptist, clarifying who John is by highlighting who he isn’t. John, though not Elijah reincarnated, embodies Elijah’s spirit and mission, preaching repentance and judgment. He is not the prophet like Moses nor the Messiah, but he is anointed by the Spirit. John’s baptism is symbolic, aiming to stir hearts towards repentance. He points to Jesus, who fulfills the promises of the First Reading. Hahn connects this to our Advent journey, encouraging us to rejoice, give thanks, and pray ceaselessly for holiness, preparing for the coming of the Lord at Christmas.

Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks

In Bishop Robert Barron’s homily for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B, he emphasizes the profound impact of Jesus’ coming, as articulated in Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians. Barron highlights Paul’s instructions to “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks,” seeing them as radical and transformative in the light of Jesus’ resurrection. These recommendations reflect the profound transfiguration of nature by grace. Barron explains that constant joy is possible because of the victory Jesus’ resurrection signifies, constant prayer is feasible due to our continuous communion with God, and giving thanks in all circumstances is appropriate because Christ’s divinity transforms even the worst experiences into opportunities for sanctification.

More Thoughts for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B

Joyful Anticipation

The second reading for the 3rd Sunday in Advent Year B, taken from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, resonates with a profound message of hope and anticipation. As we celebrate Gaudete Sunday, a day of rejoicing in the Advent season, this passage invites us to immerse ourselves in a spirit of continuous joy, prayer, and gratitude. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in all circumstances give thanks,” Paul writes, encapsulating the essence of Christian life, especially poignant in the time of Advent.

This call to perpetual joy is not an invitation to ignore the realities of pain or suffering but to maintain a hopeful stance in the face of life’s challenges. The anticipation of Christ’s coming reminds us that joy is rooted not in our current circumstances but in the promise of God’s faithful presence and ultimate salvation.

In this season of preparation, Paul’s exhortation to hold fast to what is good and abstain from every form of evil serves as a guiding principle. This period of waiting is not passive but an active journey of spiritual refinement and alignment with God’s will. As we await the celebration of Christ’s birth, we are called to embrace a holistic sanctification, “spirit, soul, and body,” as Paul articulates. This process involves a conscious and continuous effort to nurture our relationship with God through prayer, embrace joy in our daily lives, and express gratitude in all circumstances.

As we heed this call, we prepare ourselves not just for the commemoration of Christ’s historical birth but for his ongoing presence in our lives, transforming us from within and making us ready for his eventual return.

Illuminating the Path

In the Gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B, John 1:6-8, 19-28, we encounter John the Baptist, a pivotal figure who came to testify to the light. This light is not just a physical entity but a profound metaphor for the clarity and vision that Jesus Christ brings into our lives. When we embrace Christ, our perception of the world undergoes a remarkable transformation. This divine light illuminates our path, revealing truths that were once shrouded in darkness. With Christ as our guiding light, we navigate life’s journey with greater clarity, avoiding obstacles that once tripped us up. Our understanding of the world, our relationships, and our purpose becomes clearer under this heavenly light.

John’s role in this narrative is crucial yet humbling. He understood that he was not the light; he was merely its witness and bearer. His mission was to transmit this light to others, not to claim it as his own. In this, John exemplifies a profound humility that we are called to emulate.

The light of God that we may carry within us, that brightens the lives of those around us, is not of our own making. It is a divine gift, passing through us like rays through a windowpane. Our task is not to boast of this light as if it were our own achievement, but to humbly acknowledge its true source and purpose. We become conduits of this heavenly light, tasked with spreading it without claiming ownership.

This Gospel passage invites us to reflect on our role in bearing the light of Christ. Like John, we are called to be humble messengers, illuminating the world with the light we have received. This light enables us to see the beauty and truth in God’s creation, to discern our path more clearly, and to help illuminate the way for others. It is a reminder that in following Christ, we not only walk in light but also become bearers of that light to the world. Our journey, therefore, becomes a testament to the transformative power of Christ’s light, guiding us and others towards the path of truth, clarity, and ultimate fulfillment.

A Tapestry of Joy and Light

Considered together, the readings for the 3rd Sunday in Advent Year B intertwine to create a rich tapestry of anticipation and illumination. In Isaiah, we hear the jubilant proclamation of good news, liberty, and divine favor, a vivid depiction of the joyous fulfillment that comes with the Messiah’s arrival. This joy, as echoed in Thessalonians, is not a fleeting emotion but a state of being, sustained by continuous prayer and gratitude, deeply rooted in the promise of Christ’s transformative presence. Just as Isaiah speaks of being clothed in the garments of salvation and righteousness, so too are we invited to clothe ourselves in the joy and thanksgiving that come from God.

In John’s Gospel, we encounter John the Baptist, the herald of the Light, embodying the role of a witness to the one true Light, Jesus Christ. This Light, which John testifies to, is the same Light that Isaiah foretells will bring freedom and renewal. The call in Thessalonians to rejoice always and give thanks in all circumstances is a response to this Light that illuminates our path, revealing the way to truth and salvation.

As we journey through Advent, we are reminded that our preparation for Christ’s coming is not only a remembrance of a historical event but an active participation in the unfolding of God’s redemptive plan. The convergence of joy from Isaiah, the testimony of John the Baptist, and Paul’s exhortation to continual prayer and thanksgiving, shapes our Advent season as a time of deep spiritual renewal and expectant waiting for the fullness of God’s salvation.

Reflection Questions for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 speaks of rejoicing always, even in difficult times. Reflect on a time when you found joy in a challenging situation. How did this experience shape your understanding of joy as a Christian virtue?
  • What does “pray without ceasing” mean to you in practical terms? How can you incorporate continuous prayer into your daily routine, especially during the Advent season?
  • How can you cultivate a habit of gratitude, even in less-than-ideal circumstances? Discuss ways in which gratitude can change your perspective on life’s challenges.
  • In the Gospel of John, John the Baptist plays a crucial role as a witness to the light of Christ. How can you embody the humility and dedication of John the Baptist in your own life as a Christian?
  • How do you interpret the concept of being a bearer of Christ’s light in your community? Share examples of how you have witnessed or can witness Christ’s light in everyday interactions.
  • Reflect on a moment when Christ’s light brought clarity or understanding to a situation in your life. How did this illumination transform your approach or attitude?
  • Paul’s call to holiness in 1 Thessalonians involves spirit, soul, and body. Discuss practical ways you can engage in this holistic sanctification during Advent.
  • Considering Isaiah’s prophecy and its fulfillment in Christ, how does this narrative of promise and fulfillment influence your faith journey?
  • How do the themes of joy, light, and continuous prayer in these readings interact to inform your understanding of the Advent season?
  • Choose one aspect from these readings (joy, prayer, gratitude, being a light bearer, etc.). Can you create a personal action plan for incorporating it more fully into your life this Advent?

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B

rejoice always
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
3rd Sunday of Advent Year B
A voice in the desert. – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Music Suggestions for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B

Sunday December 13, 2026

Frequently Asked Questions for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B

What date is the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B?

The next date is Sunday December 13, 2026.
For other years see the links below:
3rd Sunday of Advent Year A
3rd Sunday of Advent Year C

What are the Mass readings for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B?

The Mass readings for Sunday December 13, 2026 are:
First Reading – Isaiah 61:1-2A, 10-11: Anointed for Good News
Responsorial Psalm – Luke 1: Mary’s Song of Praise
Second Reading – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24: Call to Faithful Living
Gospel – John 1:6-8, 19-28: John’s Humble Witness

What is the significance of the message of the first reading for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B, of being anointed to bring good news?

Isaiah 61:1-2A, 10-11 highlights the mission of the Messiah, anointed to bring good news to the oppressed and proclaim liberty. It emphasizes the transformative role of the Messiah in bringing joy, comfort, and justice.

How does the imagery of growth in the first reading for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B reflect spiritual renewal?

The imagery of growth and flourishing in Isaiah 61:1-2A, 10-11 represents the spiritual renewal and restoration that comes with the Messiah’s arrival. It symbolizes the blossoming of righteousness and praise among God’s people.

What themes are present in Mary’s song of praise in the responsorial psalm for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B?

Mary’s song (the Magnificat) celebrates God’s mercy, strength, and faithfulness. It reflects themes of divine justice, the reversal of human fortunes, and the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham and his descendants.

How does the Magnificat in the responsorial psalm for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B relate to the season of Advent?

Mary’s song captures the essence of Advent: anticipation, joy, and the fulfillment of God’s promises. It reflects the waiting and hope for the Messiah, who comes to uplift the humble and fulfill God’s covenant.

What is the call to faithful living in the second reading for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 urges Christians to rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances. It calls for a life of holiness, guided by the Spirit, and preserved blameless for the coming of Christ.

How does the message in the second reading for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B encourage spiritual preparation for Advent?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 encourages believers to live joyfully, prayerfully, and gratefully, aligning their lives with God’s will as they prepare for the coming of Christ. It fosters a spirit of readiness and holiness fitting for the Advent season.

What is the importance of John’s humble witness in the gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B?

John’s humility in John 1:6-8, 19-28 emphasizes his role as a forerunner to Christ, not the light but a witness to it. His humility and clarity about his mission exemplify the proper attitude in preparing for and recognizing the Messiah.

How do John’s actions and message in the gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B prepare for Jesus’ coming?

John’s preaching of repentance and baptism prepares the way for Jesus by calling people to turn back to God. His witness lays the groundwork for Jesus’ ministry, emphasizing the need for spiritual renewal.

What common themes are present in these readings for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B?

Common themes include joy, anticipation, humility, and the transformative power of God’s action in the world. The readings emphasize God’s faithfulness and the call for believers to live in a manner worthy of His coming.

How can these readings for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B inspire our observance of Advent in daily life?

These readings inspire us to embrace joy, prayer, and gratitude during Advent. They encourage us to reflect on our spiritual readiness, engage in acts of humility and service, and anticipate the coming of Christ with hope and active preparation.

What are some ideas for a homily or reflection based on these readings for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B?

A homily or reflection could focus on the theme of joy and preparation in anticipation of Christ’s coming. It might explore the nature of true joy in the Christian life as depicted in these readings: a joy rooted in God’s promises, sustained through prayer, and manifesting in a life of service and humility. The contrast between worldly joy and the deep, abiding joy offered by Christ could be a focal point, using John the Baptist’s humility and Mary’s trust in God’s promises as examples.

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2 responses to “3rd Sunday of Advent Year B”

  1. Raphael Avatar

    Hi. Just correct that 2023 will be YEAR C. Thanks for the good work.

  2. Raphael Avatar

    Sorry, meant to write YEAR A. 2022 is Year C, so 2023 will be Year A. Thanks.

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