At Mass today, the third Sunday of Advent, the following is the First reading:
Let the wilderness and the dry-lands exult,
let the wasteland rejoice and bloom,
let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil,
let it rejoice and sing for joy.
The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it,
the splendour of Carmel and Sharon;
they shall see the glory of the Lord,
the splendour of our God.
Strengthen all weary hands,
steady all trembling knees
and say to all faint hearts,
‘Courage! Do not be afraid.
‘Look, your God is coming,
vengeance is coming,
the retribution of God;
he is coming to save you.’
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
the ears of the deaf unsealed,
then the lame shall leap like a deer
and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy
for those the Lord has ransomed shall return.
They will come to Zion shouting for joy,
everlasting joy on their faces;
joy and gladness will go with them
and sorrow and lament be ended.
This Sunday is Gaudete Sunday. In many churches the purple of Advent will be replaced by the Rose traditionally associated with this day, a sign of its joyful character as the Liturgy begins to turn its attention more and more to the forthcoming feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ.
- What in you would you like to see healed, renewed?
- And in others?
- How might you offer yourself, even in brokenness, for the service of the Kingdom?
Flowering plant. Lerins, France. (c) 2013, Allen Morris