17th DECEMBER 2017

 THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Collect

O Lord Jesus Christ, who at your first coming sent your messenger to prepare your way before you: grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready your way by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at your second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in your sight; for you are alive and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

First Reading  Isaiah 61. 1- 4, 8 - end

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; 2to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;  3to provide for those who mourn in Zion — to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory. 4They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

8For I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.  9Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed.  10I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  11For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.

Second Reading 1 Thessalonians 5. 16 - 24

16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  19Do not quench the Spirit.   20Do not despise the words of prophets, 21but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22abstain from every form of evil.  23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  24The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

Holy Gospel  John 1. 6 – 8, 19 - 28

6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.  8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

19This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ 20He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, ‘I am not the Messiah.’ 21And they asked him, ‘What then? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’  22Then they said to him, ‘Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?’  23He said, ‘I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, “Make straight the way of the Lord”’, as the prophet Isaiah said.  24Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.  25They asked him, ‘Why then are you baptising if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?’  26John answered them, ‘I baptise with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, 27the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.’  28This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptising.

Post Communion

We give you thanks, O Lord, for these heavenly gifts; kindle in us the fire of your Spirit that when your Christ comes again we may shine as lights before his face; who is alive and reigns now and for ever.

 

 

Mission Community Prayer

Lord grant us the grace to pray for those in need

Grant us the grace to see needs in those around us

Grant us the grace to seek to fulfil those needs

Grant us the wisdom to know when to talk

And the wisdom to know when to listen.