3rd Sunday of Advent Year B

Sunday December 17, 2023
Sunday December 13, 2026

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

  • First ReadingIsaiah 61:1-2A, 10-11: “I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul; for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked with her jewels.”
  • Responsorial PsalmLuke 1: “My soul rejoices in my God.”
  • Second Reading1 Thessalonians 5:16-24: “May the God of peace make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • Gospel John 1:6-8, 19-28: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord,’” as Isaiah the prophet said.”

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.

  • Hopeful waiting
  • Humility
  • Joy
  • Identity

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

Who Are You? A Lesson Plan on Identity

This reflection helps youth consider the question which was asked of John the Baptist: “Who are you?” There are many ways we can identify ourselves. How does our faith impact our identity?

Litany of St. John the Baptist

In this Litany of St. John the Baptist, we ask this saint by his many titles and roles to pray for us so we can be more like him.

Help Me Know Who I Am

This Identity Prayer asks God to show us how he sees us. Then confident in His love for us, we can give the glory to Him.

Advent Ideas for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B

Why Linus Drops His Blanket in A Charlie Brown Christmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas emphasizes the religious nature of the Christmas holiday. But did you ever notice that Linus drops his blanket during the show?

Pray the O Antiphons

The “O Antiphons” are part of the evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours for December 17 to December 23. In them, Old Testament imagery is used to proclaim the coming of the Christ child.  Incorporate them into your family prayer this advent.

Let the Spirit of Advent Visit

Take a breather from the worry today and let the spirit of Advent visit your family. Gather for a few minutes to talk about how your Advent is going.

Make Some Christmas Ornaments and Give Them Away

Today, make some Christmas ornaments together and give them away. Bring a little light and cheer into somebody else’s Advent by letting them know you are thinking of them. While any recipient would do, this would be an especially nice Advent activity to do for an elderly neighbor or

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

Sunday December 17, 2023
Sunday December 13, 2026

A New Beginning

In this reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B, Jeff Cavins brings us a message of hope as we prepare for the coming of Christ.

How Do We Find Joy?

In this video from Life Teen, Joel Stepanek asks, how do we find joy? St. Paul tells us that we must pray without ceasing and give thanks to God. This is how we find joy. In the gospel, we learn of the humility of John the Baptist. This is another path to joy, for it allows us to see all that God has done for us. We find joy in prayer, gratitude, and humility.

A Year of Favor from the Lord

From Bishop Robert Barron. The third Sunday of Advent is traditionally called “Gaudete Sunday.” “Gaudete” is a Latin imperative—it’s a command—which means “rejoice.” The Church is telling us to be happy. And in the first reading—a marvelous passage from the sixty-first chapter of the prophet Isaiah, which presents the motif of the “anointed one”—it gives us the reasons why we should rejoice.

One Who is Coming

From Scott Hahn. The mysterious figure of John the Baptist, introduced in last week’s readings, comes into sharper focus today. Who he is, we see in today’s Gospel, is best understood by who he isn’t. Continue reading.

Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks

Also from Bishop Barron. Our second reading today is taken from Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians—and it always takes my breath away. He says, “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks.” For Paul, the coming of Jesus changed everything. His dying and rising turned everything upside down, so that the usual ways of thinking and acting are not longer valid. Grace has transfigured nature—and the three recommendations he gives are signs of this transfiguration.

More Thoughts for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B

John came to testify to the light. Light makes our vision possible. Without it, we can’t see anything. When we follow Jesus Christ, our whole world is illuminated so we can see differently. Even what seemed hidden becomes visible. The path we are meant to walk becomes clear and we can avoid obstacles more easily.

John understood that he was not the source of the light. He transmitted it, but he did not seek to take credit for it. We would be wise to imitate his humility. Whatever brightness we bring to those around us is the light of God shining through us, like a window. We must take care not to think that we are the source.

Reflection Questions for the 3rd Sunday of Advent Year B

Sunday December 17, 2023
Sunday December 13, 2026
  • Can I recall a time when I was in darkness and the light of Christ led me out?
  • Is there a place in my life which I am trying to keep hidden from the light?
  • How can I transmit God’s light to the people I encounter this week?

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions


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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