1st Sunday of Advent, Year C
Note: Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I had been compiled for you after the Mass Readings below. Happy Reading!
Readings at Mass (see our compilation with pictures in Encouragements-169) 8-)
Liturgical Colour: Violet.
First Reading: Jeremiah 33:14-16
I will make a virtuous Branch grow for David
See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks – when I am going to fulfil the promise I made to the House of Israel and the House of Judah:
‘In those days and at that time, I will make a virtuous Branch grow for David,
who shall practise honesty and integrity in the land.
In those days Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell in confidence.
And this is the name the city will be called: The-Lord-our-integrity.’
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 24(25):4-5,8-9,10,14
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
Lord, make me know your ways. Lord, teach me your paths.
Make me walk in your truth, and teach me: for you are God my saviour.
The Lord is good and upright. He shows the path to those who stray,
He guides the humble in the right path, He teaches his way to the poor.
His ways are faithfulness and love for those who keep his covenant and law.
The Lord’s friendship is for those who revere him; to them he reveals his covenant.
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2
May you be blameless when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again
May the Lord be generous in increasing your love and make you love one another and the whole human race as much as we love you. And may he so confirm your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless in the sight of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus Christ comes with all his saints.
Finally, brothers, we urge you and appeal to you in the Lord Jesus to make more and more progress in the kind of life that you are meant to live: the life that God wants, as you learnt from us, and as you are already living it. You have not forgotten the instructions we gave you on the authority of the Lord Jesus.
Let us see, O Lord, your mercy
and give us your saving help.
Gospel: Luke 21:25-28,34-36
That day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.
‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’
Acknowledgment: We thank the Publisher for allowing us to publish the Mass Readings to be used as reference for Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us around the World.
Homilies, Angelus / Regina Caeli
"Open the door to Christ, your Saviour!". This is the invitation at the heart of the City Mission, but it must first echo in our own hearts. We ourselves must first open the doors of our conscience and our life to Christ the Saviour, making ourselves docile to the Spirit’s action, so that we are more and more conformed to the Lord. Indeed, he cannot be proclaimed unless his image is reflected and brought to life in us by the grace and action of the Spirit.
Dear missionaries, have a strong love for the individuals and families you will meet. People need love, understanding and forgiveness. Be especially attentive and close to those families having difficulties with their faith, their marriage, or because of poverty and suffering. Every family in Rome must see your acts and your words as so many signs of God's mercy and the Church’s welcome. As far as possible, even after your visit, maintain a personal relationship with the families you meet and with each individual member.
Love the Church to which you belong and who sends you out as missionaries. Teach others to love her by your words and example. Share with her your passion for men's salvation. Love the Church which is holy, because she was purified by the blood Christ shed on the cross.
Strive to be holy too! Accept St Paul’s exhortation re-echoed in the second reading, "so that he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness" (1 Thessalonians 3:13). The call to mission stems from the call to holiness. Respond to it generously. Open the doors of your life to the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, who renews the face of the earth and turns hearts of stone into hearts of flesh capable of loving as Christ loved us (cf. John 15:12).
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 30 November 1997)
Homily, 3 December 2000 (JUBILEE OF THE DISABLED)
(See our extracts with pictures in Encouragemnts-169) 8-)
Angelus, 3 December 2000 (JUBILEE OF THE DISABLED)
1. Today the season of Advent begins, the journey of spiritual renewal in preparation for Christmas. The voices of the prophets who proclaim the Messiah ring out in the liturgy, asking for conversion of heart and for prayer. John the Baptist, the last of these and the greatest, cries out: "Prepare the way of the Lord!" (Luke 3: 4), because he "will come to visit his people in peace".
2. Come Christ, Prince of Peace! Preparing for his Birth means reawakening the hope of peace in ourselves and throughout the world. Build peace in hearts first of all, by laying down the weapons of rancour, revenge and every form of selfishness.
The world cries out for this peace! I am thinking especially with deep sorrow of the latest episodes of violence in the Middle East and on the African Continent, as well as of those that daily newspapers are recording in so many other parts of the Globe. I renew my appeal to the leaders of the great religions: let us join forces in preaching non-violence, forgiveness and reconciliation! "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5: 5).
3. In this journey of expectation and hope that is Advent, the Ecclesial Community is identified more closely than ever with the Most Holy Virgin. May it be she, the Virgin of expectation, who helps us to open our hearts to the One who, by his coming among us, brings the priceless gift of peace to all humanity.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 30 November 2003)
Advent calls believers to become aware of this truth and to act accordingly. It rings out as a salutary appeal in the days, weeks and months that repeat: Awaken! Remember that God comes! Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today, now!
The one true God, "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob", is not a God who is there in Heaven, unconcerned with us and our history, but he is the-God-who-comes.
He is a Father who never stops thinking of us and, in the extreme respect of our freedom, desires to meet us and visit us; he wants to come, to dwell among us, to stay with us.
His "coming" is motivated by the desire to free us from evil and death, from all that prevents our true happiness. God comes to save us.
The Fathers of the Church observe that the "coming" of God - continuous and, as it were, co-natural with his very being - is centred in the two principal comings of Christ: his Incarnation and his glorious return at the end of time (cf. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechesis 15,1: PG 33, 870).
The Advent Season lives the whole of this polarity.
In the first days, the accent falls on the expectation of the Lord's Final Coming, as the texts of this evening's celebration demonstrate.
With Christmas approaching, the dominant note instead is on the commemoration of the event at Bethlehem, so that we may recognize it as the "fullness of time".
The liturgy of Advent thus casts light on how the Church gives voice to our expectation of God, deeply inscribed in the history of humanity; unfortunately, this expectation is often suffocated or is deviated in false directions.
As a Body mystically united to Christ the Head, the Church is a sacrament, that is, a sign and an effective instrument of this waiting for God.
To an extent known to him alone, the Christian community can hasten his Final Coming, helping humanity to go forth to meet the Lord who comes.
And she does this first of all, but not exclusively, with prayer.
Next, essential and inseparable from prayer are "good works", as the prayer for this First Sunday of Advent declares, and in which we ask the Heavenly Father to inspire in us "the desire to go with good works" to Christ who comes.
Pope Benedict XVI (Homily, 2 December 2006)
In Advent, the liturgy frequently repeats and assures us, as if to overcome our natural diffidence, that God "comes": he comes to be with us in every situation of ours, he comes to dwell among us, to live with us and within us; he comes to fill the gaps that divide and separate us; he comes to reconcile us with him and with one another.
He comes into human history to knock at the door of every man and every woman of good will, to bring to individuals, families and peoples the gifts of brotherhood, harmony and peace.
This is why Advent is par excellence the season of hope in which believers in Christ are invited to remain in watchful and active waiting, nourished by prayer and by the effective commitment to love. May the approaching Nativity of Christ fill the hearts of all Christians with joy, serenity and peace!
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 3 December 2006)
The contemporary world above all needs hope; the developing peoples need it, but so do those that are economically advanced. We are becoming increasingly aware that we are all on one boat and together must save each other. Seeing so much false security collapse, we realize that what we need most is a trustworthy hope. This is found in Christ alone. As the Letter to the Hebrews says, he "is the same yesterday and today and for ever (Hebrews 13: 8). The Lord Jesus came in the past, comes in the present and will come in the future. He embraces all the dimensions of time, because he died and rose; he is "the Living One". While he shares our human precariousness, he remains forever and offers us the stability of God himself. He is "flesh" like us and "rock" like God. Whoever yearns for freedom, justice, and peace may rise again and raise his head, for in Christ liberation is drawing near (cf. Luke 21: 28) as we read in today's Gospel. We can therefore say that Jesus Christ is not only relevant to Christians, or only to believers, but to all men and women, for Christ, who is the centre of faith, is also the foundation of hope. And every human being is constantly in need of hope.
Dear brothers and sisters, the Virgin Mary fully embodies a humanity that lives in hope based on faith in the living God. She is the Virgin of Advent: she is firmly established in the present, in the "today" of salvation. In her heart she gathers up all past promises, and encompasses the future. Let us learn from her in order to truly enter this Season of grace and to accept, with joy and responsibility, the coming of God in our personal and social lives.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 29 November 2009)
God did not withdraw into his heaven but lowered himself to man’s experience: a great mystery that succeeds in surpassing every possible expectation. God entered human time in the most unthinkable way: by making himself a child and going through the stages of human life, so that our whole existence, spirit, soul and body — as St Paul has reminded us — might be kept blameless and be raised to God’s heights. And he did all this out of his faithful love for humanity. When love is true, by its nature it strives for the good of others, for their greatest possible good. It is not limited merely to respecting the commitments of friendship that have been taken on, but goes further, without calculation or measure. This is precisely what the living, true God did, whose profound mystery is revealed to us in St John’s words: “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16). In Jesus of Nazareth this God takes upon himself the whole of humanity, the whole history of man, and he gives it a decisive reorientation toward a new manner of human existence, characterized by having been generated by God and by aspiring to him (cf. Jesus of Nazareth, vol. 3, The Infancy Narratives).
The liturgical year that we are beginning with these Vespers also represents for you the journey to live once again the mystery of this faithfulness of God, on which you are called to found your lives, as on a firm rock. In celebrating and living this itinerary of faith with the whole Church, you will experience that Jesus Christ is the one Lord of the cosmos and of history, without whom every human project risks coming to nothing. The liturgy, lived in its true spirit, is always the fundamental school for living the Christian faith, a “theological” faith which involves you in your whole being — spirit, soul and body — to make you living stones in the edifice of the Church and collaborators of the New Evangelization. Especially in the Eucharist the living God makes himself so close that he becomes food that supports us on the journey, a presence that transforms us with the fire of his love.
Dear friends, “He who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24); he will make you heralds of his presence. In this evening’s prayer let us set out in spirit toward the Bethlehem Grotto in order to taste the true joy of Christmas: the joy of welcoming at the centre of our life, after the example of the Virgin Mary and of St Joseph, that Child who reminds us that God’s eyes are open on the world and on every man and woman (cf. Zechariah 12:4). God’s gaze is focused on us because he is faithful to his love! Only this certainty can lead humanity towards goals of peace and prosperity, in this delicate and complex period of history.
Pope Benedict XVI (Homily, 1 December 2012)
The word “advent” means “coming” or “presence”. In the ancient world it meant the visit of the king or emperor to a province; in the Christian language it refers to the Coming of God, to his presence in the world; a mystery that embraces the entire cosmos and history, but that has two culminating events: the First and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The first is, precisely, the Incarnation. The second is his glorious return at the end of time. These two events that are chronologically distant — and we are not given to know by how long — are deeply connected, because with his death and Resurrection Jesus fulfilled that transformation of man and of the cosmos which is the final goal of Creation. However, before the end, the Gospel must be proclaimed to all the nations, as Jesus says in the Gospel according to St Mark (cf. Mark 13:10). The Lord’s Coming continues, the world must be penetrated by his presence and this ongoing Coming of the Lord in the proclamation of the Gospel requires our continuous collaboration. Moreover the Church, who is, as it were, the Betrothed, the promised Bride of the Lamb of the Crucified and Risen God (cf. Revelation 21:9), in communion with her Lord, collaborates in this Coming of the Lord, in which his glorious return has already begun.
Today the word of God calls us to this, outlining the lines of conduct we should follow to be ready for the Lord’s Coming. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus says to the disciples: “take heed... lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life... at all times, praying” (Luke 21:34, 36). Therefore, moderation and prayer. And the Apostle Paul adds the invitation to “increase and abound in love” among ourselves and for everyone, to make our hearts blameless in holiness (cf. 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13).
In the midst of the upheavals of the world or in the deserts of indifference and materialism, may Christians accept salvation from God and bear witness to it with a different way of life, like a city set upon a hill. “In those days”, the Prophet Jeremiah announced, “Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: The Lord is our righteousness” (33:16). The community of believers is a sign of God’s love, of his justice which is already present and active in history but is not yet completely fulfilled and must therefore always be awaited, invoked and sought with patience and courage.
The Virgin Mary perfectly embodies the spirit of Advent that consists in listening to God, with a profound desire to do his will and to serve our neighbour joyfully. Let us allow ourselves to be guided by her, so that God who comes may not find us closed or distracted but rather may extend a little of his kingdom of love, justice and peace in each of us.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 2 December 2012)
In the readings of this Sunday’s liturgy, we can see different aspects of this salvation proclaimed by God; they appear as signposts to guide us on our mission. First of all, the happiness promised by God is presented as justice. Advent is a time when we strive to open our hearts to receive the Saviour, who alone is just and the sole Judge able to give to each his or her due. Here as elsewhere, countless men and women thirst for respect, for justice, for equality, yet see no positive signs on the horizon. These are the ones to whom he comes to bring the gift of his justice (cf. Jeremiah 33:15). He comes to enrich our personal and collective histories, our dashed hopes and our sterile yearnings. And he sends us to proclaim, especially to those oppressed by the powerful of this world or weighed down by the burden of their sins, that “Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it shall be called, ‘The Lord is our righteousness’” (Jeremiah 33:16). Yes, God is righteousness; God is justice. This, then, is why we Christians are called in the world to work for a peace founded on justice.
The salvation of God which we await is also flavoured with love. In preparing for the mystery of Christmas, we relive the pilgrimage which prepared God’s people to receive the Son, who came to reveal that God is not only righteousness, but also and above all love (cf. 1 John 4:8). In every place, even and especially in those places where violence, hatred, injustice and persecution hold sway, Christians are called to give witness to this God who is love. In encouraging the priests, consecrated men and woman, and committed laity who, in this country live, at times heroically, the Christian virtues, I realize that the distance between this demanding ideal and our Christian witness is at times great. For this reason I echo the prayer of Saint Paul: “Brothers and sisters, may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all men and women” (1 Thessalonians 3:12). Thus what the pagans said of the early Christians will always remain before us like a beacon: “See how they love one another, how they truly love one another” (Tertullian, Apology, 39, 7).
Finally, the salvation proclaimed by God has an invincible power which will make it ultimately prevail. After announcing to his disciples the terrible signs that will precede his coming, Jesus concludes: “When these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28). If Saint Paul can speak of a love which “grows and overflows”, it is because Christian witness reflects that irresistible power spoken of in the Gospel. It is amid unprecedented devastation that Jesus wishes to show his great power, his incomparable glory (cf. Luke 21:27) and the power of that love which stops at nothing, even before the falling of the heavens, the conflagration of the world or the tumult of the seas. God is stronger, more powerful, than all else. This conviction gives to the believer serenity, courage and the strength to persevere in good amid the greatest hardships. Even when the powers of Hell are unleashed, Christians must rise to the summons, their heads held high, and be ready to brave blows in this battle over which God will have the last word. And that word will be one of love and peace!
To all those who make unjust use of the weapons of this world, I make this appeal: lay down these instruments of death! Arm yourselves instead with righteousness, with love and mercy, the authentic guarantors of peace.
Pope Francis I (Homily, 29 November 2015)
Note: This webpage has many hyperlinks to the Vatican Webpage. The above extracts were compiled for your easy reading.
This Publication is aimed to encourage all of Goodwill around the World. It is not for business or profit purposes but it is our way to thank our Creator for His continuous blessings!
Compiled on 2 December 2018