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Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
March 18, 2019
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Advent

The twofold character of Advent calls us to prepare for the remembering of the Word made Flesh at Christmas, and directs us to wait with alertness for Jesus’ second coming.

Sunday Readings and Backgrounds

Third Sunday of Advent

Reading I : Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10

The desert will rejoice and bloom!

  • The prophet Isaiah encourages the Jewish people living in exile in Babylon, to believe that God has the power and the desire to save them.
  • The images in the first reading convey new life and hope. This foreshadows what Christians will see in Christ.
  • The prophet’s message brings comfort to those in need of liberation.

Reading II : James 5:7-10

Be patient.

  • The Letter of James urges patience in awaiting the second coming of Christ.
  • Just as the farmer needs to be patient, trust God, and cooperate with the natural elements, so must the Christian.
  • We are called to wait with patience and to hasten the Kingdom through works of mercy.

Gospel : Matthew 11:2-11

The blind recover their sight, cripples walk, lepers are cured, and deaf hear.

  • Today’s Gospel describes what kind of Messiah Jesus is.
  • By listing his works of healing and restoration in response to John’s question, Jesus shows how he fulfills the prophecies of the Old Testament regarding the Messiah, as suggested in today’s first reading.
  • Jesus identifies John as his forerunner.