Entrance Antiphon : Phil 4: 4-5
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.Indeed, the Lord is near.
O God, who see how your peoplefaithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity,enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvationand 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.
First readingIsaiah 61:1-2,10-11
The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,for the Lord has anointed me.He has sent me to bring good news to the poor,to bind up hearts that are broken;to proclaim liberty to captives,freedom to those in prison;to proclaim a year of favour from the Lord.‘I exult for joy in the Lord,my soul rejoices in my God,for he has clothed me in the garments of salvation,he has wrapped me in the cloak of integrity,like a bridegroom wearing his wreath,like a bride adorned in her jewels.‘For as the earth makes fresh things grow,as a garden makes seeds spring up,so will the Lord make both integrity and praisespring up in the sight of the nations.’
R/ My soul rejoices in my God.
- My soul glorifies the Lord,my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.He looks on his servant in her nothingness;henceforth all ages will call me blessed.
- The Almighty works marvels for me.Holy his name!His mercy is from age to age,on those who fear him.
- He fills the starving with good things,sends the rich away empty.He protects Israel, his servant,remembering his mercy.
Second reading Thessalonians 5:16-24
Be happy at all times; pray constantly; and for all things give thanks to God, because this is what God expects you to do in Christ Jesus.Never try to suppress the Spirit or treat the gift of prophecy with contempt; think before you do anything – hold on to what is good and avoid every form of evil.May the God of peace make you perfect and holy; and may you all be kept safe and blameless, spirit, soul and body, for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. God has called you and he will not fail you.
Alleluia, alleluia!The spirit of the Lord has been given to me.He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor.Alleluia!
Gospel John 1:6-8,19-28
A man came, sent by God.His name was John.He came as a witness,as a witness to speak for the light,so that everyone might believe through him.He was not the light,only a witness to speak for the light.This is how John appeared as a witness. When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ he not only declared, but he declared quite openly, ‘I am not the Christ.’ ‘Well then,’ they asked ‘are you Elijah?’ ‘I am not’ he said. ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’ So John said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied:a voice that cries in the wilderness:Make a straight way for the Lord.’Now these men had been sent by the Pharisees, and they put this further question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the prophet?’ John replied, ‘I baptise with water; but there stands among you – unknown to you – the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo his sandal-strap.’ This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.
Prayer over the Offerings
May the sacrifice of our worship, Lord, we pray,be offered to you unceasingly,to complete what was begun in sacred mysteryand powerfully accomplish for us your saving work.Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Cf. Is 35: 4
Say to the faint of heart: Be strong and do not fear.Behold, our God will come, and he will save us.
Prayer after Communion
We implore your mercy, Lord,that this divine sustenance may cleanse us of our faultsand prepare us for the coming feasts.Through Christ our Lord.
All throughout the centuries, Jesus has been coming into the lives of His people. Never the less, all through history people keep looking for the Lord to come, to be born again, and they keep missing His coming right under their noses. They ask the wrong persons if they are the messiahs. The Jews sent a delegation from Jerusalem to ask John the Baptist if he was the long-awaited Messiah who has finally come. John made them understand that the Messiah was among them but they did not recognise him. Are we much different today? Actually, God continually reaches out toward us, but we resist his coming by hiding behind layers of distractions. Christ wants us to speak in the silence of prayer but we drown His voice with noise from TV sets and radios. He comes in the sacraments especially in the sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Confession, and yet what we do for these sacraments