Sunday, December 17, 2023, Third Sunday of Advent

Episode 11 December 15, 2023 00:04:35
Sunday, December 17, 2023, Third Sunday of Advent
Sundays with Bishop Ken
Sunday, December 17, 2023, Third Sunday of Advent

Dec 15 2023 | 00:04:35


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Little Books of the Diocese of Saginaw

Show Notes

The third Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday which means rejoice. Today we reflect on the birth of John the Baptist and the "yes" of another mother, Elizabeth. 

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Episode Transcript

Greetings. Thanks for being here. Today is the third Sunday of Advent, which has traditionally been called “Gaudete Sunday” (the Latin word gaudete means “rejoice”). “Rejoice” is the first word of the entrance antiphon for today’s Mass: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice.” This text is taken from the Letter to the Philippians, chapter four, verse four. This call to rejoice is the reason why the candle to be lit this Sunday on the Advent wreath is usually rose-colored. * * * Today is Pope Francis’ birthday. The Holy Father has offered suggestions for happiness, which include his advice to spend Sundays with family. Let’s turn now to our Gospel. When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. (Lk 1:57-62) In a way, Elizabeth and Zechariah get left out when I think about the birth of Jesus. They’re never in Christmas pageants or crib scenes. But there they are, throughout Luke’s account, fulfilling their role in God’s plan. They’re not the “main event,” but I can bet that the birth of this longed-for child was a main event in their lives. This quiet, holy couple represents all of us, whatever age we are. I may not be the main event. But the things that happen in my life are main events for me. And they’re main events for God too. God, unlike the world, has room on center stage for everyone. Zechariah and Elizabeth were center stage for God. So am I. Today – for a few minutes right now and all day – I should enjoy the fact that I’m center stage with God. I am God’s beloved.

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