Third Sunday of Advent

First Reading

Isaiah 35:1-6, 10 (JB)

A reading from the prophet Isaiah

God himself will come and save us.

Let the wilderness and the dry-lands exult,

let the wasteland rejoice and bloom,

let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil,

let it rejoice and sing for joy.

The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it,

the splendour of Carmel and Sharon;

they shall see the glory of the Lord,

the splendour of our God.

Strengthen all weary hands,

steady all trembling knees

and say to all faint hearts,

‘Courage! Do not be afraid.

‘Look your God is coming,

vengeance is coming,

the retribution of God;

he is coming to save you.’

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

the ears of the deaf unsealed,

then the lame shall leap like a deer

and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy,

for those the Lord has ransomed shall return.

They will come to Zion shouting for joy,

everlasting joy on their faces;

joy and gladness will go with them

and sorrow and lament be ended.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Isaiah 35:1-6, 10 (NRSV)

A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,

the desert shall rejoice and blossom;

like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,

and rejoice with joy and singing.

The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,

the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.

They shall see the glory of the Lord,

the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands,

and make firm the feeble knees.

Say to those who are of a fearful heart,

“Be strong, do not fear!

Here is your God.

He will come with vengeance,

with terrible recompense.

He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

then the lame shall leap like a deer,

and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,

and come to Zion with singing;

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;

they shall obtain joy and gladness,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 145:6-10 (JB)

R. Lord, come and save us.

or

R. Alleluia!

It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever,

who is just to those who are oppressed.

It is he who gives bread to the hungry,

the Lord, who sets prisoners free. R.

It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind,

who raises up those who are bowed down,

the Lord, who protects the stranger

and upholds the widow and orphan. R.

It is the Lord who loves the just

but thwarts the path of the wicked.

The Lord will reign for ever,

Zion’s God, from age to age. R.

Second Reading

James 5:7-10 (JB)

A reading from the letter of St James

You also must be patient; do not lose heart, the Lord’s coming will be soon.

Be patient, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. Think of a farmer: how patiently he waits for the precious fruit of the ground until it has had the autumn rains and the spring rains! You too have to be patient; do not lose heart, because the Lord’s coming will be soon. Do not make complaints against one another, brothers, so as not to be brought to judgement yourselves; the Judge is already to be seen waiting at the gates. For your example, brothers, in submitting with patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

James 5:7-10 (NRSV)

A reading from the letter of James

Be patient, beloved, until the coming of the Lord.

The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth

being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.

You also must be patient.

Strengthen your hearts,

for the coming of the Lord is near.

Beloved, do not grumble against one another

so that you may not be judged.

See, the Judge is standing at the doors!

As an example of suffering and patience, beloved,

take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation

Isaiah 61:1 (Luke 4:18) (JB)

Alleluia, alleluia!

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me;

he sent me to bring Good News to the poor.

Alleluia!

Luke 4:18 (NRSV)

Alleluia, alleluia!

The Spirit of the Lord now upon me;

has sent me to bring Good News to the poor.

Alleluia!

Gospel

Matthew 11:2-11 (JB)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

Are you the one who is to come, or must we wait for someone else?

John in his prison had heard what Christ was doing and he sent his disciples to ask him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or have we got to wait for someone else?’ Jesus answered, ‘Go back and tell John what you hear and see; the blind see again, and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised to life and the Good News is proclaimed to the poor; and happy is the man who does not lose faith in me.’

As the messengers were leaving, Jesus began to talk to the people about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the breeze? No? Then what did you go out to see? A man wearing fine clothes? Oh no, those who wear fine clothes are to be found in palaces. Then what did you go out for? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet: he is the one of whom scripture says: Look, I am going to send my messenger before you; he will prepare your way before you. I tell you solemnly, of all the children born of women, a greater than John the Baptist has never been seen; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is.’

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 11:2-11 (NRSV)

A reading from the holy gospel according to Matthew

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing,

he sent word by his disciples

who said to Jesus,

“Are you the one who is to come,

or are we to wait for another?”

Jesus answered them,

“Go and tell John what you hear and see:

the blind receive their sight,

the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed,

the deaf hear, the dead are raised,

and the poor have good news brought to them.

And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.”

As they went away,

Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John:

“What did you go out into the wilderness to look at?

A reed shaken by the wind?

What then did you go out to see?

Someone dressed in soft robes?

Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces.

What then did you go out to see?

A prophet?

Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.

This is the one about whom it is written,

‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,

who will prepare your way before you.’

“Truly I tell you, among those born of women

no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist;

yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.