Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you he has turned away your enemies; the King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem: Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged! The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, he will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals.Zephaniah 3:14-18A
3rd Sunday of Advent – Year C
Sunday, December 12, 2021
The readings for the Third Sunday in Advent (Gaudete Sunday) for Year C encourage us to rejoice at the new life being offered to us through Jesus Christ. In the first reading (Zephaniah 3:14-18A) we hear that the Messiah is a mighty savior who will bring joy and love. The psalm (Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6) sings “Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.” In the second reading (Philippians 4:4-7) Paul tells us to rejoice for the Lord is near. And in the gospel (Luke 3:10-18), John the Baptist tells his followers that a great savior is coming.
This would be a good time to discuss the Incarnation. Why did God become man and what does that mean for us? Here are some ideas:
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, perhaps when praying at meal time or when lighting your advent wreath. Pause and reflect how each antiphon expresses a different title for the Messiah, giving us insight into how our own lives are changed by the Lord.
If you would like to share these antiphons on social media, see the bottom of the article for an image of each antiphon which you are free to share.
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!
O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!
O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the
shadow of death.
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!
You are free to share the images below on social media. Click on the thumbnail to see a full sized version for sharing.
A Charlie Brown Christmas is a favorite holiday special. Unlike many of the other TV specials this time of year, 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? The article below explains how this moment in the show can have a special meaning for Christians. Here’s a teaser from the article:
In that climactic scene when Linus shares “what Christmas is all about,” he drops his security blanket, and I am now convinced that this is intentional. Most telling is the specific moment he drops it: when he utters the words, “fear not”.
This would be a wonderful reflection and discussion point for a youth group meeting. Or bring it up with your family while they are watching the show.
This Toy Story parody from ODB Films is an explanation of the Incarnation for youth. Show it at an Advent or Christmas themed youth ministry meeting. Covers the topic of the Immaculate Conception also.
God became man to turn creatures into sons: not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man.C. S. Lewis