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Monday, 18 December 2017

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3rd Sunday of Advent - "Gaudete Sunday"

Starts 12:00 Ends 21:00
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Gaudete Sunday

The liturgical colour of the Advent season is violet or purple, except on the Third Sunday of Advent, called Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday, when joyful vestments may be worn.

Gaudete Sunday is so called from the entrance antiphon of the Mass, which reminds us, in the midst of our Advent preparation and time of expiation, that soon it will be a time of great joy. Link to Benedict XVI

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON
(Phillipians 4: 4-5)
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! The Lord is near.

 

FIRST READING Zephaniah 3:14-18
Shout for joy, daughter of Zion, Israel, shout aloud! Rejoice, exult with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem! Yahweh has repealed your sentence; he has driven your enemies away. Yahweh, the king of Israel, is in your midst; you have no more evil to fear. When that day comes, word will come to Jerusalem: Zion, have no fear, do not let your hands fall limp. Yahweh your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult with joy over you, he will renew you by his love; he will dance with shouts of joy for you as on a day of festival.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Ps 12
Response :
Sing and shout for joy
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

 


"Advent is a time of waiting, hope and preparation for the visit of the Lord. As we heard in the Gospel reading, the person and preaching of John the Baptist invite us to take up this commitment". John the Baptist "is the precursor, a mere witness, entirely subject to the One Whom he announces. He is voice in the desert, just as today, in the desert of the great cities of this world, in the great absence of God, we need voices which tell us simply that God exists, that He is always close even when He seems distant".

John the Baptist "is a witness of the light. This fact touches our hearts, because in a world so full of shadows and darkness, we are all called to be witnesses of the light. This is the mission of Advent: being witness of the light, and we can do this only if we carry the light within us. ... In the Church, in the Word of God, in the celebration of the Sacraments, in the Sacrament of Confession and the forgiveness we receive, in the Eucharist where the Lord gives Himself into our hands and hearts, in of all this we touch the light and receive our mission: the mission of bearing witness to the fact that the light exists, of bringing that light into our world".

"This 'Gaudete' Sunday is the Sunday of joy. It tells us that, even amidst our doubts and difficulties, joy exists because God exists and He is with us".

"I also wish to draw your attention to the importance and the central role of the Eucharist. May the Mass be the focus of your Sunday, which must be rediscovered and lived as the day of the Lord and of the community, a day on which to praise and celebrate the One Who was born for us, Who died and rose again for our salvation, and Who asks us to live together joyfully, to be a community open and ready to welcome anyone who is alone and in difficulty. Do not lose your understanding of the significance of Sundays, and remain faithful to your appointment with the Eucharist. Early Christians were ready to give their lives for this".

Pope Benedict, December 2011