Be Strong, Fear Not

St. Francis at Prayer

Keeping the Season of Advent for Sunday, December 11, 2022

From the rose vestment the priest may wear to the depiction of joy in the prayers and readings, the Advent theme of rejoicing permeates the liturgy on the Third Sunday of Advent. The day is called Gaudete Sunday, “gaudete” coming from the Latin word gaudere, “to rejoice.”

We hear the word rejoice in the entrance antiphon: “Rejoice in the Lord always,” and the word joy in the collect, or opening prayer.

The reading from Isaiah portrays this joy, telling of the desert and the parched land rejoicing and a time when the eyes of the blind will be opened, the lame will leap, and the mute will sing.

Isaiah predicts salvation and God’s victory over sickness and evil. Our “Thanks be to God” after the first reading should be emphatic, because wonderful things await us.

Psalm 146 offers praise and hope as it tells how the Lord sets captives free, protects strangers, and thwarts the wicked. At this halfway point in Advent, the Letter of St. James tells us to be patient “until the coming of the Lord.” For your Advent prayer this week, reflect on the reading from St. James, reading it in the morning or before a meal. St. James tells us not to judge another and to look to the prophets as an example of hardship and patience. The Scripture will help you center on the meaning of Advent.

Today’s readings: Isaiah 35:1–6a; Psalm 146:6–7, 8–9, 9–10; James 5:7–10; Matthew 11:2–11.

Celebrate This Christmas!
While you’re having a quiet moment for prayer or dinner this week as a family, use this week’s KEEPING THE SEASON’s handout to bring Advent and the seasons beyond to life at your house. The gifts of joy and hope given to us by the Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus offer something for everyone!

© 2022 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Text by Patricia J. Hughes, DMIN. Scripture quotations are from the New American Bible, revised edition. Permission to publish is granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago.


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