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12/6/2019 7:27:02 PM
Posted: 12/14/2013 4:55:43 AM EST


Third Sunday of Advent
(Gaudete Sunday)
Lectionary: 7
Reading 1 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) Lord, come and save us.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD God keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Lord, come and save us.
or:
R. Alleluia.
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. Lord, come and save us.
or:
R. Alleluia.
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. Lord, come and save us.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 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.”

OVERVIEW OF THE GOSPEL:

+From prison, St. John the Baptist send his discourages followers to ask Jesus point-blank whether or not He is the Messiah. Of course, St. John has no doubts whatsoever about Jesus true identity, but rather wants his followers to see that Jesus, and not he, is the Messiah. John will soon be executed. ("He must increase, but I must decrease." Jn 3:30)

+Jesus replies to St. John's followers showing to them all He has done in fulfilling Old Testament prophecies.

+Jesus concludes by affirming the great dignity of St. John the Baptist, who privilege it was to announce the actual Messiah.

+Yet, as great as St. John was, Jesus declares that there are still greater....

QUESTIONS:

• The 1st Reading from the prophet Isaiah describes a time of renewal, rest and refreshment in
the age of the Messiah. How has Christ at least begun to fulfill these promises since his
coming? In your life and the life of believers today? In a completed way at the end of time?

• In the 2nd Reading, for what event is St. James urging his readers to patiently await? For what
reason are they to exercise this patience? What OT examples can you think of (verse 10)?

• In the Gospel Reading, who questions Jesus (verse 2)? How did John wind up in prison
(Matthew 14:1-5)?

• Why did John send the questions that he did? Does Jesus answer John’s questions more with
promises or with evidence? Why? How might John, who knew the Old Testament well, have
interpreted Jesus’ reply (see Isaiah 35:5-6; 61:1)?

• How was John unlike a weak reed or a well-groomed politician? What does Jesus say about
John (verses 9-11)? Why was he greater that the Old Testament prophets? How is a New
Testament believer greater than John the Baptist (verse 11; see Matthew 18:3-4)?

• What kind of “prisons” tend to bring out doubts for you regarding Jesus? In those periods of
discouragement and doubt, what most renews your courage and faith?

• In what specific way can you be an encourager to someone in Church ministry? In your
family? Among your friends?

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 523, 549, 719, 2443, 548

Bible Study--Third Sunday in Advent--Cycle A

Gaudete Sunday

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