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Vol: 46, No.3 3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT ( C) December 16 2018  
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near. (Phil4:4-5)
John the Baptist has an important mission: he has to prepare a people fit for the Messiah. At the time of the annunciation of John’s birth, the angel said he would turn the sons of Israel to the Lord their God and make a people ready for the Lord. At the time of his birth his Father Zechariah said that his son would be called the prophet of the Most High. As expected, John turned out to be a powerful preacher and reformer. After listening to the preaching of John, it was only fitting that the people would ask him what they had to do to please God. John’s advice to them was simple and yet demanding. One should be selfless in giving (ordinary flock); should not overburden the people with excess taxes (tax collectors); and be satisfied with the wages (soldiers). Are we selfless in giving? Do we offer a helping hand to a person in need? (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.
(Visualizing the blessings already coming from God’s hand, the prophet Zephaniah calls his people to rejoice. Fear of evil and feeling of powerlessness are things of the past because God Himself lives in their midst).
A reading from the Book of Zephaniah (3:14-18)
Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgements against you, he has cast out your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear evil no more. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival.”
The Word of the Lord
PSALM (Isa 12:2-3, 4-6)
Response: Shout and sing for joy, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
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