Third Sunday of Advent, December 17, 2017, Year B

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Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11)

Isaiah has been anointed by Yahweh’s Spirit to announce the good news to Israel that all the calamities that have befallen them will be reversed. As Yahweh clothes them with salvation and righteousness, as his blessed people they will display his glory before the nations.

Psalm (126)

Reflecting on those blessed occasions when Yahweh had restored Israel’s fortunes in the past, the Psalmist calls upon him once again to act in like manner. Although his people have sown with tears he is confident that they shall reap in joy under Yahweh’s hand.


Luke 1:47-55

In response to Elizabeth’s exuberant blessing of her and her unborn child, Mary praises God for exalting her so highly. She sees the same thing happening to many others as God acts to honor his age-old promise to Abraham’s descendants.

Second Reading (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24)

St. Paul sets out how to live in order to be ready for the coming of Jesus. Live a sound and blameless life, open to the Spirit and the prophets, rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks in all circumstances.

Gospel (John 1:6-8, 19-28)

John starts his Gospel with the appearance of John the Baptist in the wilderness as a witness to the light that is coming. In response to the questioning of the Jewish religious authorities he denies being the Messiah or even a prophet. Rather his baptism is preparation for a much greater individual who will shortly make his presence felt.


  • God raises up the humble and oppressed
  • Preparing for the arrival of the Lord
  • The need for good news
  • Confidence in God’s arrival transforms the waiting time
  • God’s people will endure suffering and trouble but are assured of ultimate relief in God’s time
  • The joy of participating in the mission of God