Readings for Sunday, December 11, 2022
Third Sunday of Advent
Strengthen hands that are feeble, make firm knees that are weak, say to the fearful of heart: Be strong, do not fear!
Readings for Sunday
First Reading — The barren deserts will rejoice and flower. Tired bodies will receive strength. Aching hearts will be made glad (Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10).
Psalm — The Lord saves us when he comes (Psalm 146).
Second Reading — Be patient, for the coming of the Lord is as sure as the rain (James 5:7-10).
Gospel — Tell of what you hear and see: The blind regain their vision, the crippled their movement, the deaf their hearing (Matthew 11:2-11).
Readings for the Week
Tuesday, December 6: Is 40:1-11; Ps 96:1-3, 10ac, 11-13; Mt 18:12-14
Wednesday, December 7: Is 40:25-31; Ps 103:1-4, 8, 10; Mt 11:28-30
Thursday, December 8: Gn 3:9-15, 20; Ps 98:1-4; Eph 1:3-6, 11-12; Lk 1:26-38
Friday, December 9: Is 48:17-19; Ps 1:1-4, 6; Mt 11:16-19
Saturday, December 10: Sir 48:1-4, 9-11; Ps 80:2ac, 3b, 15-16, 18-19; Mt 17:9a, 10-13
Sunday, December 11: Is 35:1-6a, 10; Ps 146:6-10; Jas 5:7-10; Mt 11:2-11
Monday, December 12: Zec 2:14-17 or Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab; Jdt 13:18bcde, 19; Lk 1:26-38 or Lk 1:39-47, or any readings from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, nos. 707-712
Tuesday, December 13: Zep 3:1-2, 9-13; Ps 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-19, 23; Mt 21:28-32
Wednesday, December 14: Is 45: 6b-8, 18, 21b-25; Ps 85:9ab, 10-14; Lk 7:18b-23
Thursday, December 15: Is 54:1-10; Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-12a, 13b; Lk 7:24-30
Friday, December 16: Is 56:1-3a, 6-8; Ps 67:2-3, 5, 7-8; Jn 5:33-36
Saturday, December 17: Gn 49:2, 8-10; Ps 72:1-4ab, 7-8, 17; Mt 1:1-17
Sunday, December 18: Is 7:10-14; Ps 24:1-6; Rom 1:1-7; Mt 1:18-24
Opening the Word
Editor’s Note: Fr. Peter shares insights from a variety of voices on the Sunday readings.
Joy: A Sign of God
Once, as I was teaching a theology course to college students in their twenties, I made an offhand comment that the purpose of life is not to be happy. They were shocked. “What’s wrong with being happy?” they protested. “Nothing,” I said, “it’s simply not the purpose of life.” “But God wants us to be happy,” they insisted. Of course, God wants us to be happy, but that’s simply not what life is about.
Happiness is something that comes in the back door while we wait at the front door. If we go looking for happiness, we never find it, but if we forget about ourselves and seek to bring joy into the lives of others, then happiness seems to find us. It comes in the back doors of life. Curiously, that seems to be the dynamic of these Advent/Christmas days. We send cards, give gifts, think of making others happy, and overlook faults. In the process, there is a sense of joy that overtakes us without our realizing it.
The prophet Isaiah proclaimed that it is God who would crown them with everlasting joy; that they would meet with joy and gladness and sorrow and mourning would flee away (Isaiah 35:10). Joy is God’s doing, not ours.
Leon Bloy, a French novelist in the nineteenth century, observed, “Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God.” God is love, and God is also joy. Joy is so much more than happiness. Rather it is an inner quality — peaceful, serene, and nurturing — even when life may be unsettled.
~Fr. Joseph Juknialis
- What brings you joy? Do something to bring joy to someone this week.
Fr. Joseph Juknialis, a retired priest of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, is the new author of reflections for Liguori Publications’ Our Parish Community bulletins. Fr. Joe has served in ministry as a parish priest and a teacher of homiletics at St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee. Retirement has given him time for hiking, canoeing, writing, poetry, gin rummy, the Green Bay Packers, and pursuing his appreciation of nature. In noting the most amazing aspect of his life, Fr. Joe says, “God has always brought me to the place I should be.”