Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday)
On this Sunday, the Catholic Liturgy offers the faithful a joyful pause from the penitential note of Advent. Vestments are rose-coloured, the Gloria is sung, and flowers decorate the altar. Gaudete, the first word of the entrance antiphon of the Mass, means “Rejoice”. It is taken from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Regjoice” (Phil 4:4).
- Gospel Commentary, by Msgr. João Scognamiglio Clá Dias, EP
First Reading – Is 35:1-6a, 10
The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. The glory of Lebanon will be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, He comes with vindication; with divine recompense He comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; they will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10. (R. cf. Is 35:4)
R.Lord, come and save us.Lord, come and save us.
The LORD God keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free. R.
The LORD gives sight to the blind;
the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
The LORD loves the just;
the LORD protects strangers. R.
The fatherless and the widow He sustains,
but the way of the wicked He thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. R.
Second Reading – Jas 5:7-10
Be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient. Make your hearts firm, because the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another, that you may not be judged. Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates. Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Gospel – Mt 11:2-11
When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at Me.” As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces. Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you. Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
St. Maravillas de Jesus, virgin (†1974). Daughter of the Marquis of Pidal, ambassador of Spain to the Holy See, she left the world to become a Carmelite religious, and founded several monasteries in Spain and India. See also: The Reform of the Incarnation, and St. Teresa’s Kitchen
St. Damasus I, Pope (†384). Of Iberian descent, he was born in Rome around 305 and governed the Church for 18 years.
St. Daniel the Stylite, priest (†493). After living in a monastery, he followed the example of St. Simeon, living atop a column for thirty-three years, until his death in Constantinople, Turkey.
Blessed Jerome Ranuzzi, priest (†c. 1468). He became a priest in the Order of the Servants of Mary and was a professor in several different Servite houses in Italy.
Blessed Arthur Bell, priest and martyr (†1643). Franciscan religious executed in London during the reign of Charles I, simply for being a Catholic priest.
Blessed David, monk (†1179). Admitted by St. Bernard into the Abbey of Clairvaux, he was sent with other monks to found a monastery in Germany, where he engaged in prayer and good works.
Blessed Francis Lippi, hermit (†1292). Soldier living a licentious life, he lost his sight and, repentant, went on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, where he was cured. He returned to Italy, becoming a Carmelite hermit.
Blessed Maria Pilar Villalonga Villalba, virgin and martyr (†1936). Laywoman of a deep spiritual life, dedicated to apostolate in parish associations. She was imprisoned and shot during religious persecution, near Valencia, Spain.