3rd Sunday in Advent, 15 Dec 2019, Matthew 11:2-11 ~ Report what you have seen and heard!

3rd Sunday in Advent

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening Prayer:

God of glory and compassion, at your touch the wilderness blossoms,
broken lives are made whole, and fearful hearts grow strong in faith.

Open our eyes to your presence and awaken our hearts to sing your praise.
To all who long for your Son’s return grant perseverance and patience,
that we may announce in word and deed the good news of the kingdom.

We ask this through him whose coming is certain, whose day draws near:
your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen
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“Isaiah 35: Streams In The Desert” – Terry Devine-King

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Gospel Reading: Matthew 11:2-11 (NLT)

John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”

Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.”

As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began talking about him to the crowds. “What kind of man did you go into the wilderness to see? Was he a weak reed, swayed by every breath of wind? Or were you expecting to see a man dressed in expensive clothes? No, people with expensive clothes live in palaces. Were you looking for a prophet? Yes, and he is more than a prophet. John is the man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say,

‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way before you.’

“I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!
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“What Joy (Psalm 146)” – Sarah Emerson

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Intercession:

Mighty and Everlasting God: You have sent Your Son to save us.Prepare and hearts to receive Him. And reveal the presence of your Kingdom as it advances around us. We pray –

+ That the blind may see, and the deaf hear…
+ That the sick may be healed, and the dead raised to life….
+ That the tired may be strengthened, and the weak encouraged….
+ That the poor may receive the Good News of your loving-kindness….
+ That sorrow and sadness may be replaced with gladness and joy….
+ That all who trust in Your Name may be filled with everlasting joy….

Mighty and Everlasting God: You have sent Your Son to save us. Prepare our hearts to celebrate His humble birth, and welcome His glorious return. We ask this in His powerful name, the name of Jesus! Amen.
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“Gaudete” – Steeleye Span

Rejoice, rejoice! Christ is born
Of the Virgin Mary – Rejoice!

The time of grace has come—What we have wished for;
Songs of joy Let us give back faithfully.

God has become man, With nature marveling,
The world has been renewed By the reigning Christ.

The closed gate of Ezekiel Is passed through,
Whence the light is risen; Salvation has been found.

Therefore, let our assembly Now sing in brightness
Let it bless the Lord: Salvation to our King.
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Closing: (Isaiah 35:3-4)

Strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees.
Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear,
for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.
He is coming to save you.”

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+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

3rd Sunday in Advent: Isaiah 61:1-2, 10-11; Luke 1:46-55; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28 ~ expectant joy

3rd Sunday in Advent

+ In the name the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening prayer:

image

Today is called Gaudete Sunday, which means ‘a day for rejoicing.’ The reason for celebration is that the day of the Lord’s coming is nearer.

O God, most high and most near, You send glad tidings to the lowly, You do not hide Your face from the poor; those who dwell in darkness You call into the light.

Take away our blindness, remove the hardness of our hearts, and form us into a humble people, that, at the advent of Your Son, we may recognise Him in our midst and find joy in His saving presence.

We ask this through Him whose coming is certain, whose day draws near: Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
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A Reading from the Old testament: Isaiah 61:1-2, 10-11 (NLT)

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
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I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels. The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.
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Magnificat: Luke 1:46-55 (NLT)


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A Reading from the Letters: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 (NLT)

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.

Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.

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A Reading from the Gospels: John 1:6-8, 19-28 (NLT)

God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light.
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This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.”

“Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?”

“No,” he replied.

“Are you the Prophet we are expecting?”

“No.”

“Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?”

John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’”

Then the Pharisees who had been sent asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?”

John told them, “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.”

This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.
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Intercessions:

Generous God, who fills the starving with good things – hear our prayers:

+ For all the world – that the birth of the Redeemer may bring hope to people of good will…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who follow Christ – that they may have joy as they prepare for His coming…. Lord, hear us.
+ For people whose hearts are broken – that You, the source of joy, may bring them comfort…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the members of the healing professions who care for victims of violence or abuse – that they may show compassion and wisdom…. Lord, hear us.
+ For asylum-seekers, immigrants, homeless and hungry people – that they may learn of God’s care through our friendship…. Lord, hear us.
+ For people suffering because of the Ebola Vrus in West Africa – that the whole world may help them…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who have died recently, especially John Newton – that they may rejoice in God eternally…. Lord, hear us.

God of generous love, Your mercy continues to embrace the world: hear the prayers of Your people, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Benediction:

Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

3rd Sunday in Advent: Isaiah 35:1-6, 10; Psalm 146:6-10; James 5:7-10; Matthew 11:2-11 ~ joyful patience

THE SEASON OF ADVENT: please see resources below.

During Advent, we wait patiently for the Lord’s return… with a song of praise in our hearts. “Rejoice in the Lord, always: again, I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.”

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Advent Wreath 3

Opening sentence:

O God, who sees how your people faithfully await the celebration of Christmas, enable us to realize the joys of our salvation, and to celebrate them always with reverent worship and glad rejoicing.

A Reading from the Old Testament: Isaiah 35:1-6 (NLT)

Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God. With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.”

And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland.
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Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.

A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 146:6-10 (NLT)

He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever. He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The Lord frees the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down. The Lord loves the godly. The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.

The Lord will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations. Praise the Lord!

A Reading from the Apostle James’ Letter to the Church: James 5:7-10 (NLT)

Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.

Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door!

For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

A Reading from the Gospels: Matthew 11:2-11 (NLT)

John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”

Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen — the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.’”

As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began talking about him to the crowds. “What kind of man did you go into the wilderness to see? Was he a weak reed, swayed by every breath of wind? Or were you expecting to see a man dressed in expensive clothes? No, people with expensive clothes live in palaces. Were you looking for a prophet? Yes, and he is more than a prophet. John is the man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say,

‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way before you.’

“I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!

Intercessions:

Lord God of Heaven and Earth: I come before You today with a patient, joyful spirit…. anticipating Christmas, and yet longing for Your return – when all things will be made new. Hear my prayers on behalf of Your people –

+ Fill us with the joy of knowing You are near… in our praying, our longing, our hoping as we live our daily lives.

+ Give us a spirit of contentment and generosity… when everyone around us says “get more”, may we cheerfully give more – especially to those desperately in need.

+ Set us free from our fears and anxieties… to live joyfully for You and for others.

+ Forgive us our sins… and keep us sound in mind and body until the coming of Your Son.

+ Help us to stand watchful and ready… until your Son is revealed in all his glory.

May we live as godly people… clothed in our Lord Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit. Lord hear my prayer.

Hymn: “Gaudete” (Wikipedia)

Gaudete, gaudete / Christus est natus / Ex Maria Virgine / Gaudete
(Rejoice, rejoice! / Christ is born / Of the Virgin Mary / Rejoice!)

Tempus adest gratiae / Hoc quod optabamus / Carmina laetitiae / Devote reddamus
(The time of grace has come / What we have wished for / Songs of joy / Let us give back faithfully.)

Deus homo factus est / Natura mirante / Mundus renovatus est / A Christo regnante
(God has become man / Nature marveling / The world has been renewed / By Christ reigning.)

Ezechielis porta / Clausa pertransitur / Unde Lux est orta / Salus invenitur
(The closed gate of Ezekiel / Is passed through / Whence the light is raised / Salvation is found.)

Ergo nostra contio / Psallat iam in lustro / Benedicat Domino / Salus Regi nostro
(Therefore let our gathering / Now sing in brightness / Let it give praise to the Lord / Greeting to our King.)

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

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THE SEASON OF ADVENT: + Online Advent Calendar – US Catholic Conference of Bishops + Online Advent Calendar for Adults – Loyola Press + Busted Halo’s Surprise Advent Calendar + 2013 Advent Devotion Apps, eBooks and More! | ChurchMag