Vol: 44, No.3 3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT ( A) December 11 2016  
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near. (Phil 4:4-5)

As we are in the period of Advent, preparing for Christmas, the liturgy of today asks us to rejoice because the Lord has come to save us from every evil, and we need not have fear of anything or anyone in this world because the Lord is with us. Do we, as Christians, manifest this joy in our everyday life or are we saddened by the sufferings and trials that we encounter in our lives? (Pause)

I confess to almighty God/ and to you,/my brothers and sisters,/that I have greatly sinned,/in my thoughts and in my words,/in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,/through my fault,/ through my fault,/through my most grievous fault;/therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,/all the Angels and Saints,/and you,/my brothers and sisters,/to pray for me to the Lord our God.
O God, who see how your people faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity, enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvation and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
(Prophet Isaiah invites both the people and the land to rejoice because the Lord is coming to save them and he will heal them of their physical maladies, and their suffering and sorrow will vanish).
A reading from the prophet Isaiah
(35:1-6a, 10)
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
The Word of the Lord
PSALM (145)
Response: Come, Lord, and save us.
It is he who keeps faith for ever, who is just to those who are oppressed. It is he who gives bread to the hungry, the
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