10 Dec 2016

11th December 2016 - Third Sunday of Advent (Year A) - Gaudete Sunday

On this third Sunday of Advent - Gaudete Sunday - we are joined on this weeks programme by Sr Mara Grace from the Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia who are have moved into Limerick at St Saviours on Glentworth St. She reflects on Advent and also joins us for our regular weekly reflection on the weekly gospel. We have some liturgical odds and ends as well.

You can listen to this weeks programme podcast HERE.

Gaudete Sunday

Certain Sundays throughout the liturgical year have taken their names from the first word in latin of the Introit, the entrance antiphon at Mass. Gaudete Sunday - the third Sunday of Advent is one of these. The Introit for Gaudete Sunday is taken from Philippians 4:4,5: "Gaudete in Domino semper" ("Rejoice in the Lord always").

"Rejoice: the Lord is nigh." 

As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Saviour means for us. The great joy of Christians is to see the day drawing nigh when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead them into His kingdom.  The oft-repeated Veni ("Come") of Advent is an echo not only of the prophets but also of the conclusion of the Apocalypse of St. John: "Come, Lord Jesus," the last words of the New Testament. Like Lent, Advent is a penitential season, so the priest normally wears purple vestments. But on Gaudete Sunday, having passed the midpoint of Advent, the Church lightens the mood a little, and the priest may wear rose vestments. The change in colour provides us with encouragement to continue our spiritual preparation—especially prayer and fasting—for Christmas. For this same reason, the third candle of the Advent wreath, first lit on Gaudete Sunday, is traditionally rose-coloured. 


Sr Mara Grace joins with Lorraine reflecting on Advent as a preparation season for Christmas and reminds us that no matter where we are in our lives we are wanted for ourselves to be present in this present moment no matter what to experience that current joy. Together they reflect on prayers and ideas to help us prepare including reflecting on the weekly readings and to take the opportunity to receive the sacrament of confession. Simple and repetitive suggestions but presented as a reminder to us to renew and turn again before the celebration of the Christ child.

Sr Mara Grace's reflection is excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Nashville Dominican Sisters Facebook in Limerick

Gospel - Matthew 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.”
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire

English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 3; 3rd week of Advent

Saints of the week

December 12th - Our Lady of Guadalupe
December 13th - St Lucy
December 14th - St John of the Cross
December 15th - Saint Florentius of Bangor
December 16th - Martyred Women of North-West Africa
December 17th - Saint Lazarus of Bethany

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