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Sunday, December 11, 2016

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Third Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 35:1-6, 10
James 5:7-10
Psalm 146:6-10
Matthew 11:2-11

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receive jesus' joy

"He comes to save you." —Isaiah 35:4

Today, the Third Sunday of Advent, is called "Gaudete Sunday," meaning "Rejoice Sunday." There is great reason to rejoice; we have a Savior! Moreover, this Savior is One Who loves us, delights in us, and wants the very best for us. Yes, He is a Judge (Jas 5:9), but He did not come to condemn us (Rm 8:1; Jn 8:11), but rather to save and redeem us (Is 35:9).

He has not only saved us; He has called us to be His disciples. Jesus offers us a share in His saving ministry. In addition, He pours out the Holy Spirit on us and gives us powerful gifts of the Spirit so that we might help spread His Word. In Jesus, we are greater than even John the Baptizer (Mt 11:11).

This is great reason to rejoice. Jesus has saved us from sin, Satan, hell, and damnation, and has saved us for heaven, holiness, ministry, discipleship, freedom, love, and so much more. "Behold our God, to Whom we looked to save us! This is the Lord for Whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that He has saved us!" (Is 25:9)

Are you rejoicing in getting your "holiday" shopping done? Or do you find your joy in the One Who is coming at Christmas to save us? "Rejoice in the Lord" (Phil 4:4). Receive His abundant Advent joy (Jn 15:11).

Prayer:  Father, I know rejoicing in the Lord must be my strength (Neh 8:10). I set aside all that distracts me from You. Help me to prepare Your way into the lives of many the rest of Advent (Lk 3:4).

Promise:  "You, too, must be patient. Steady your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is at hand." —Jas 5:8

Praise:  "Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again, Rejoice!" (Phil 4:4) All glory, honor, and praise be to our God!

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 10, 2016

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