ADVENT 3 SPIRITUAL MASS
Lord Jesus, light of the world,
John told the people to prepare for the coming of the Lord.
As Christmas draws closer day by day,
help us to be ready to welcome him.
I confess to almighty God and
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,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.
May almighty God ✠ have mercy on us,
forgive us our sins and
bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
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, for ever and ever. Amen.
THE GOSPEL - Luke 3:1-8
When all the people asked John, ‘What must we do?’ he answered, ‘If anyone has two tunics he must share with the man who has none, and the one with something to eat must do the same.’ There were tax collectors too who came for baptism, and these said to him, ‘Master, what must we do?’
He said to them, ‘Exact no more than your rate.’ Some soldiers asked him in their turn, ‘What about us? What must we do?’ He said to them, ‘No intimidation! No extortion! Be content with your pay!’ A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to think that John might be the Christ, so John declared before them all, ‘I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fan is in his hand to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go out.’ As well as this, there were many other things he said to exhort the people and to announce the Good News to them.
HOMILY Hope and Joy
What an overwhelming message is carried in today’s liturgy: “Rejoice in the Lord always! May we experience the joy of salvation! Shout for joy! Sing joyfully! Cry out with joy and gladness!”
There is a profound sense of hope for a better world to come, a world in which, the prophet says, “you have no further misfortune to fear and the apostle tells us to dismiss all anxiety from your minds.”
The reason for this joy and hope is clear: “The Lord himself is near” (Second Reading); “there is one to come who is mightier than I” (Gospel).
It is within this context of joyous and hopeful expectation of the coming of Christ that we must understand the exhortations of John to the people. Our work for a better world is preparation for the coming of Christ. It is also a sign that the coming of Christ is near.
“The Spirit of the Lord sent me to bring Good News to the poor.” That is the message which we are to shout with joy: Jesus is coming with Good News for all those who yearn for justice and peace.
PRAYER For a deepening of hope: that we may surrender our anxieties to God and trust in God’s providence for all our needs and challenges.
For a renewal of our hearts: that God will stir up the Spirit who lives within us so that our faith increases, our spirits grow in courage, and our hearts overflow with love.
For conversion of heart: that the fire of the Spirit will cleanse us of greed, selfishness, narrowness of mind, and hardness of heart so that we may be people of the light.
For the grace to accompany one another: that God will free us from judging others and help us to see each person as a sister or brother with fears and wounds like ourselves.
For a flowering of justice: that we may strive to fulfil our duties to others and use our gifts to ease the suffering and promote the wellbeing of all our brothers and sisters.
For the advent of peace and justice: that God will give insight, vision, and courage to all who are striving to turn swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks.
At the Saviour’s command and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come, thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Father, I trust in you. Amen.
Jesus, I trust in you. Amen.
Spirit, I trust in you; Amen.
Lord Jesus, you come to us in unexpected places,
In isolation, behind closed doors,
On roads as we go from place to place,
In chats with friends and telephone conversations with loved ones.
You come bringing us peace, where there is no peace
You come bringing us hope when everything seems hopeless
You come bringing us courage when we are afraid.
Come and be here and in every place
where my family, friends and my Church gather.
Open our eyes to see you, and our hearts to know you.
“In God alone my soul in stillness waits;
from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold, so that I shall never be shaken.” Psalm 61 (62)
I long to give you praise and thanksgiving for creation
and all the blessings of this life.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,
I pray that you will come spiritually into my heart.
I unite myself to you,
and embrace you with all the strength of my soul
and the life you have given me.
Let nothing ever separate me from you.
May I live and die in your love. Amen.
Sit with Christ in silence
The angel of the Lord brought tidings unto Mary. And she conceived by the Holy Ghost.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word. Hail Mary. Holy Mary.
And the Word was made flesh. And dwelt amongst us. Hail Mary. Holy Mary.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray. We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts,
that as we have known the Incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ
by the message of an angel, so by his Cross and Passion
we may be brought unto the glory of his Resurrection;
through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Christ the Son of Righteousness shine upon us,
and scatter the darkness from before our path;
and may the blessing of Almighty God,
the Father, the Son, ✠ and the Holy Spirit
come down upon us, and remain with us for ever