Sunday, 13 December 2020 : Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Rose or Purple/Violet

John 1 : 6-8, 19-28

A man came, sent by God; his name was John. He came to bear witness, as a witness to introduce the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but a witness to introduce the Light.

This was the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites to ask him, “Who are you?” John recognised the truth, and did not deny it. He said, “I am not the Messiah.”

And they asked him, “Then who are you? Elijah?” He answered, “I am not.” They said, “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Tell us who you are, so that we can give some answer to those who sent us. How do you see yourself?”

And John said, quoting the prophet Isaiah, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness : Make straight the way of the Lord!” Those who had been sent were Pharisees; and they put a further question to John, “Then why are you baptising, if you are not the Messiah, or Elijah, or the Prophet?”

John answered, “I baptise you with water, but among you stands One Whom you do not know; although He comes after me, I am not worthy to untie the strap of His sandal.”

This happened in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptising.

Sunday, 13 December 2020 : Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Rose or Purple/Violet

1 Thessalonians 5 : 16-24

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks to God at every moment. This is the will of God, your vocation as Christians. Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise the prophets’ warnings. Put everything to the test and hold fast to what is good. Avoid evil, wherever it may be.

May the God of peace make you holy and bring you to perfection. May you be completely blameless, in spirit, soul and body, till the coming of Christ Jesus, our Lord; He Who called you is faithful and will do it.

Sunday, 13 December 2020 : Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Rose or Purple/Violet

Luke 1 : 46-48, 49-50, 53-54

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God, my Saviour! He has looked down upon His servant, in her lowliness, and people, forever, will call me blessed.

The Mighty One has done great things for me. Holy is His Name! From age to age, His mercy extends to those who live in His presence.

He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty. He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy.

Sunday, 13 December 2020 : Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Rose or Purple/Violet

Isaiah 61 : 1-2a, 10-11

The Spirit of the Lord YHVH is upon Me, because YHVH has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up broken hearts, to proclaim liberty to the captives, freedom to those languishing in prison; to announce the year of YHVH’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God.

I rejoice greatly in YHVH, My soul exults for joy in My God, for He has clothed Me in the garments of His salvation, He has covered Me with the robe of His righteousness, like a bridegroom wearing a garland, like a bride adorned with jewels. For as the earth brings forth its growth, and as a garden makes seeds spring up, so will the Lord YHVH make justice and praise spring up in the sight of all nations.

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 13 December 2020 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : Violet or Rose (Gaudete Sunday)

Offertory

Psalm 84 : 2

Benedixisti, Domine, terram Tuam : avertisti captivitatem Jacob : remisisti iniquitatem plebis Tuae.

English translation

Lord, You have blessed Your land. You have turned away the captivity of Jacob. You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Devotionis nostrae Tibi, quaesumus, Domine, hostia jugiter immoletur : quae et sacri peragat instituta mysterii, et salutare Tuum in nobis mirabiliter operetur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

May the sacrifice of our devotion, we beseech You, o Lord, be continually offered to You, both to carry out Your designs in this holy Mystery and wonderfully to work in us Your salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Communion

Isaiah 35 : 4

Dicite : pusillanimes, confortamini et nolite timere : ecce, Deus noster veniet et salvabit nos.

English translation

Say, you faint hearted, take courage and do not fear, behold our God will come and will save us.

Post-Communion Prayer

Imploramus, Domine, clementiam Tuam : ut haec divina subsidia, a vitiis expiatos, ad festa ventura nos praeparent. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

We implore Your clemency, o Lord, that cleansed from our sins, these divine aids may prepare us for the coming festival. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 13 December 2020 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : Violet or Rose (Gaudete Sunday)

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. John

John 1 : 19-28

In illo tempore : Miserunt Judaei ab Jerosolymis sacerdotes et levitas ad Joannem, ut interrogarent eum : Tu quis es? Et confessus est, et non negavit : et confessus est : Quia non sum ego Christus. Et interrogaverunt eum : Quid ergo? Elias es tu? Et dixit : Non sum. Propheta es tu? Et respondit : Non.

Dixerunt ergo ei : Quis es, ut responsum demus his, qui miserunt nos? Quid dicis de te ipso? Ait : Ego vox clamantis in deserto : Dirigite viam Domini, sicut dixit Isaias Propheta. Et qui missi fuerant, erant ex pharisaeis. Et interrogaverunt eum, et dixerunt ei : Quid ergo baptizas, si tu non es Christus, neque Elias, neque Propheta?

Respondit eis Joannes, dicens : Ego baptizo in aqua : medius autem vestrum stetit, quem vos nescitis. Ipse est, qui post me venturus est, qui ante me factus est : cujus ego non sum dignus ut solvam ejus corrigiam calceamenti.

Haec in Bethania facta sunt trans Jordanem, ubi erat Joannes baptizans.

English translation

At that time, the Jews sent from Jerusalem, priests and Levites to John to ask him, “Who are you?” And he confessed, and did not deny, and he confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” And he answered, “No.”

They therefore said unto him, “Who are you that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What did you say of yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Make straight the way of the Lord, as said by the prophet Isaiah.” And those who were sent were of the Pharisees, and they asked him, and said to him, “Why, then, did you baptise, if you are not Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?”

John answered them, saying, “I baptise with water, but there had stood One in your midst, Whom you do not know, the same One, He Who shall come after me. Who is preferred before me, the latchet of Whose shoe I am not worthy to loosen.”

These things were done in Bethania beyond the Jordan, where John was baptising.

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 13 December 2020 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : Violet or Rose (Gaudete Sunday)

Psalm 79 : 2-3 and Psalm 79 : 2

Qui sedes, Domine, super Cherubim, excita potentiam Tuam, et veni.

Response : Qui Reges Israel, intende : qui deducis, velut ovem, Joseph.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Excita, Domine, potentiam Tuam, et veni, ut salvos facias nos. Alleluja.

English translation

You, o Lord, Who sits upon the Cherubim, stir up Your might, and come.

Response : Give ear, o You Who rule Israel, You Who leads Joseph like a sheep.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : Stir up Your might, o Lord, and come, that You may save us. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 13 December 2020 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : Violet or Rose (Gaudete Sunday)

Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Philippenses – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Philippians

Philippians 4 : 4-7

Fratres : Gaudete in Domino semper : iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus : Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis : sed in omni oratione et obsecratione, cum gratiarum actione, petitiones vestrae innotescant apud Deum.

Et pax Dei, quae exsuperat omnem sensum, custodiat corda vestra et intellegentias vestras, in Christo Jesu, Domino nostro.

English translation

Brethren, rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God, which surpassed all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Usus Antiquior) Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday (I Classis) – Sunday, 13 December 2020 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : Violet or Rose (Gaudete Sunday)

Introit

Philippians 4 : 4-6 and Psalm 84 : 2

Gaudete in Domino semper : iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus : Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis : sed in omni oratione petitiones vestrae innotescant apud Deum.

Benedixisti, Domine, terram Tuam : avertisti captivitatem Jacob.

Response : Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper : et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men, for the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous, but in everything by prayer let your requests be made known to God.

Lord, You have blessed Your land. You have turned away the captivity of Jacob.

Response : Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Collect

Aurem Tuam, quaesumus, Domine, precibus nostris accommoda : et mentis nostrae tenebras, gratia Tuae visitationis illustra. Qui Vivis et regnas in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Incline Your ear to our prayers, o Lord, we beseech You, and make bright the darkness of our minds by the grace of Your visitation, You Who lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Saturday, 12 December 2020 : 2nd Week of Advent, Memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet or White (Our Lady of Guadalupe)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today the Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, commemorating the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God in the site of Guadalupe in what is today part of Mexico. Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the most popular Marian devotions in the world and she is also the Patroness of the Americas, and is also among one of the oldest approved Marian apparitions, from long before the other ones at Lourdes and Fatima.

About five centuries ago, St. John Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, one of the pious native converts to Christianity, whose feast day we have just celebrated three days ago, saw the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the site of the Tepeyac hill where the great Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe now stands. St. John Diego was a simple but pious peasant to whom Our Lady appeared to, revealing herself to be none other than the Mother of God.

Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared a few times to St. John Diego, asking for a church to be built at the site of her apparition in her honour. And most well known is the miracle of the tilma or cloak or mantle, which belonged to St. John Diego and on which was imprinted the image of Our Lady herself, not drawn by any human hands but miraculously appearing on the cloak after she told St. John Diego to gather rare flowers at the place she pointed out, as a sign to the local bishop.

This very mantle is still kept in the great Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, at the centre of the very popular devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe as mentioned. Certainly many lost souls had been found due to her intercession, and many others had had their faith strengthened throughout the past few centuries, and it was indeed no coincidence that she chose to appear there at the time when the Christian faith has just recently then arrived to the Americas.

All in all, today we rejoice because of the great love which our mother
Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe has for all of us, her beloved children. That she has chosen to appear multiple times throughout history and in various occasions, especially after periods of great conflicts and upheavals pointed out to the fact that she truly loves each one of us dearly, and wants us all to find our way to her Son, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, we are all called to look at our loving mother, appreciating the genuine care and compassion that she has shown us. And through her, we shall find our way towards the Lord, to His salvation, grace and eternal life. Are we willing to follow the example of our blessed mother, in her commitment and faith in God, as well as in her righteous and pious life?

We are all called to reexamine our way of life throughout this Advent season that we may rediscover the true meaning of Christmas that we are all going to celebrate in just two more weeks from now, as well as the true meaning of our Christian faith. This is the perfect opportunity and time for us to rediscover our love for the Lord and to remove from ourselves all the unhealthy attachments to sin and worldly temptations.

Let us all heed our loving mother’s call, that all of us may embrace her with love and find our way to the Lord’s salvation and grace through the path that our mother Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe has shown us, that we may join the many others who had followed her and devoted herself to her, and through her to her Son. Let us all seek the Lord our God and have a conversion of heart and mind in this blessed season of Advent. May all of us draw ever closer to Our Lord and Saviour, and may His mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, always intercede for us sinners. Amen.