Liturgy of the Sunday

Ossza Meg

Third Sunday of Advent
Memory of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Mexico. Memory of Filomena, an elderly woman from Trastevere who died in a nursing home in 1976. With her we remember all the elderly, especially those who are alone and live in nursing homes.


First Reading

Zephaniah 3,14-17

Shout for joy, daughter of Zion, Israel, shout aloud! Rejoice, exult with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem! Yahweh has repealed your sentence; he has turned your enemy away. Yahweh is king among you, Israel, you have nothing more to fear. When that Day comes, the message for Jerusalem will be: Zion, have no fear, do not let your hands fall limp. Yahweh your God is there with you, the warrior-Saviour. He will rejoice over you with happy song, he will renew you by his love, he will dance with shouts of joy for you,

Psalmody

Isaiah 12, 2-6

Look, he is the God of my salvation:
I shall have faith and not be afraid,
for Yahweh is my strength and my song, he has been my salvation.'

Joyfully you will draw water
from the springs of salvation

and, that day, you will say,
'Praise Yahweh, invoke his name.
Proclaim his deeds to the people, declare his name sublime.

Sing of Yahweh, for his works are majestic,
make them known throughout the world.

Cry and shout for joy, you who live in Zion,
For the Holy One of Israel is among you in his greatness.'

Second Reading

Philippians 4,4-7

Always be joyful, then, in the Lord; I repeat, be joyful. Let your good sense be obvious to everybody. The Lord is near. Never worry about anything; but tell God all your desires of every kind in prayer and petition shot through with gratitude, and the peace of God which is beyond our understanding will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 3,10-18

When all the people asked him, 'What must we do, then?' he answered, 'Anyone who has two tunics must share with the one who has none, and anyone with something to eat must do the same.' There were tax collectors, too, who came for baptism, and these said to him, 'Master, what must we do?' He said to them, 'Exact no more than the appointed rate.' Some soldiers asked him in their turn, 'What about us? What must we do?' He said to them, 'No intimidation! No extortion! Be content with your pay!' A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to wonder whether John might be the Christ, so John declared before them all, 'I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, who is more powerful than me, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fan is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go out.' And he proclaimed the good news to the people with many other exhortations too.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Homily

This third Sunday of Advent brings us to the banks of the river Jordan by John the Baptist who preaches the good news. With the crowds that were gathering around the prophet, we too ask to the Baptist: "What then should we do?" It is the same question that the crowd of Pentecost posed to Peter after listening to his preaching. Yes, we need to let us our hearts be touched by the Word of God and be able to ask what the way of change is for us: "What should we do?" We could say that it is the question of this Advent. Let us acknowledge our limits and closures. Often we are satisfied of ourselves, of our habits, of our pride and we think we did all that we could and therefore we cannot go any further. In fact with this attitude we close the doors of our heart.
The Baptist's answer is made of simple and concrete words. To the listeners who were going to him he said, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise." This too is a simple and clear answer. We need to ask ourselves how to give something to eat to those who do not have it and how to clothe those who do not have clothing. How can we stay calm when so many people in the world do have food or clothing? This is a major issue in our time in which the poverty of many has increased as a consequence of the pandemic. Believers are asked to widen even more their hearts to charity and make room to the poor and the weak so that none "of these little ones should be lost."
To the tax collectors who were approaching to him and asking what they should do, he answered, "Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you," that is, do not follow your voracious instincts, do not let yourself be dominated by your attempts to fulfil your needs, whether real or false. Indeed it is easy that daily life makes us all forget these words and lead us to live in a greedy way. John asks us to be serious, honest, and loyal. He urges the soldiers to reject violence and not to harm others. With simplicity he adds, "Do not abuse and be satisfied." It is a reminder to act in a gentle and humane way towards others, whoever they are and whatever their task is. It is an important reminder in a society like ours, where it is easy to treat others badly. John then asks us to be satisfied. It is not an invite to give up, rather to have limits, a reference to the wisdom of not chasing after all desires and satisfactions consuming them one after another.
John's preaching invites us to look to this global horizon. John knew he was not the Messiah, and said it clearly: "One who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." But he was aware of his responsibility of being a "voice" that cries out. And he honoured this responsibility to the point of martyrdom. Like the Baptist we too are aware of our smallness but also of our responsibility to proclaim the "good news" of the kingdom of God to all.