We are now in the third week of Advent.
Our third candle is pink not purple. That’s because it is the candle of Joy, today is Gaudete Sunday, this word means rejoice. It is sometimes called the shepherd’s candle because of the joy Jesus brought to the world.
In today’s reading St Paul is telling us what God wants of us
A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Thessalonians
Always be full of joy. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus.
We pray that God himself, the God of peace, will make you pure—belonging only to him. We pray that your whole self—spirit, soul, and body—will be kept safe and be blameless when our Lord Jesus Christ comes. The one who chose you will do that for you. You can trust him.
The Word of the Lord – thanks be to God
St Paul tells us that God wants for us to be happy because he loves us, we need to thank the people in our lives who make us happy and that includes thanking God for all that he gives us that’s why St Paul’s message here is to be joyful, prayerful, and thankful at all times
Let us pray
God of blessings, we celebrate your good gifts and rejoice at the gift of your son, Jesus. Amen.
In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
This is the 2nd Sunday of Advent.
We light the 2nd purple candle, the candle of Faith. It is sometimes called the Bethlehem candle, reminding us of the journey of the Holy Family.
Each week the light grows stronger as we get closer to Jesus’ coming.
Today we are thinking about how we feel when we are waiting for something special in our lives, how we get ready or prepare. Today’s reading is about what John the Baptist said we should be doing to prepare for Jesus coming.
A reading from the Gospel of St Mark – Glory to you O Lord
This is the good news about Jesus the Son of God. It began just as God had said in the book of Isaiah the prophet “I am sending my messenger to get the way ready for you. In the desert someone is shouting Get ready for the lord, make the path straight for him.”
So John the Baptist appeared in the desert and told everyone “Turn back to God and be baptised, then your sins will be forgiven.”
John also told the people “someone more powerful is going to come, I am not good enough to stoop down and untie his sandals, I baptise you with water but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.”
The Gospel of the Lord - praise to you Lord Jesus Christ
Just as John prepared the way for Jesus, Advent is the time when we prepare for Jesus. Let’s think for a moment about what we can do – by saying sorry if we’ve upset someone, remembering to say our prayers and doing things for others.
Let us pray
Dear God, you sent your messengers the prophets and John the Baptist to help us prepare for Jesus. Please give us grace to listen to their messages, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen
This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent.
We light the first purple candle on the Advent Wreath. It is the candle of Hope and sometimes it is called the Prophet’s candle to remind us that Jesus is coming
During Advent we are getting ready to celebrate Jesus’ birthday on Christmas day but we are also getting ready to meet him when he comes again.
We need to think about how we will prepare for Jesus’ coming. Jesus himself tells us in a parable.
A reading from the Gospel given to us by St Mark – Glory to you O Lord.
33 Be careful! Always be ready. You don’t know when that time will be.
34 “It’s like a man who goes on a trip and leaves his house in the care of his servants. He gives each one a special job to do. He tells the servant guarding the door to always be ready. And this is what I am telling you now. 35 You must always be ready. You don’t know when the owner of the house will come back. He might come in the afternoon, or at midnight, or in the early morning, or when the sun rises. 36 If you are always ready, he will not find you sleeping, even if he comes back earlier than expected. 37 I tell you this, and I say it to everyone: ‘Be ready!’”
The Gospel of the Lord – praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.
Listening to the words of Jesus we now need to think about what we are doing – are we getting ready to meet him when he comes or just getting ready for Christmas? We know Jesus will come again – he promised this, but we don’t know when that will be so we need to be ready all the time.
Jesus, as we wait for your coming; help us not to be afraid but to trust in you. As we gather round this wreath, we remember that you bring the light of hope into our lives. May your Word be always in our minds, on our lips, and in our hearts.
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit Amen