Sunday, December 14th, 2014
The Third Sunday in Advent
A Prayer For Today
December 14th, 2014
Our Gracious Heavenly Father,
You see how your people faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity. Enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvation, and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing. Make us worthy of receiving this most precious gift you chose to bestow upon humankind.
Allow our hearts to be open to the magic that this blessed time of the year gifts to us. Allow us, in turn, to share these blessings with others!
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Author of Today’s Gospel Reading
St John the Apostle
St. John, the son of Zebedee, and the brother of St. James the Great, was called to be an Apostle by our Lord in the first year of His public ministry. He became the “beloved disciple” and the only one of the Twelve who did not forsake the Savior in the hour of His Passion. He stood faithfully at the cross when the Savior made him the guardian of His Mother. His later life was passed chiefly in Jerusalem and at Ephesus. He founded many churches in Asia Minor. He wrote the fourth Gospel, and three Epistles, and the Book of Revelation is also attributed to him. Brought to Rome, tradition relates that he was by order of Emperor Dometian cast into a cauldron of boiling oil but came forth unhurt and was banished to the island of Pathmos for a year. He lived to an extreme old age, surviving all his fellow apostles, and died at Ephesus about the year 100.
St. John is called the Apostle of Charity, a virtue he had learned from his Divine Master, and which he constantly inculcated by word and example. The “beloved disciple” died at Ephesus, where a stately church was erected over his tomb. It was afterwards converted into a Mohammedan mosque.
Our Old Testament Reading
Isaiah 61: 1-2a, 10-11 NIV
The Year of the Lord’s Favor
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed m to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn
I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.
Our New Testament Reading
John 1: 6-8 & 19-28 NIV
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”
Now the Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
“I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”
This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
We Light The Candle Of Joy….
Each Sunday, we light candles in the midst of all the darkness in our lives and in the world. The flames symbolize our longing, our desire, our hope, and our love. We want to be renewed in a sense that Jesus came to save us from our sin and death.
On the third Sunday of Advent, the rose candle is lit. The rose candle symbolizes joy. It comes from the first word of the Introit, “rejoice”. In an otherwise penitential season, it is heralding the nearness of this gift of “His Only Begotten Son”!
Song For Today
“While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks”
This week’s featured hymn was written by Nahum Tate (1652-1715)
Performed by performed by soprano Heather Prusse; additional lyrics by Sally DeFord
1. While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground;
the angel of the Lord came down,
and glory shone around.
2. “Fear not!” said he, for mighty dread
had seized their troubled mind.
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring
to you and all mankind.”
3. “To you, in David’s town, this day
is born of David’s line
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,
and this shall be the sign.”
4. “The heavenly babe you there shall find
to human view displayed,
all meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
and in a manger laid.”
5. Thus spake the seraph and forthwith
appeared a shining throng
of angels praising God on high,
who thus addressed their joyful song.
6. “All glory be to God on high,
and to the earth be peace;
good will henceforth from heaven to man
begin and never cease!”
7. Then with all haste the shepherds came
To see the wondrous sight
Amid the strains of heav’nly praise
That lingered on the night
8. “All glory be to God on high,
And on the earth be peace,
Good will henceforth from heav’n to man
Begin and never cease.”
Thanks Be To God!
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