There is no need to worry, for the Lord wants you to be happy, and he is near to you. May his peace and joy be with you always. R/ And also with you.
Introduction by the Celebrant
A. Called To Joy
On this Third Sunday of Advent the liturgy speaks to us, people who are too often so sad, of God as the Lord of the dance: the Lord is happy to come among us: he will dance with shouts of joy for you as on a day of festival. It is a feast for the Lord to be with us. Is it a feast for us too? Let us open ourselves to the joy of the coming and lasting presence among us of the Lord himself. He comes to us with his peace, his love, and his forgiveness, not only on the great feast of Christmas but in every Eucharist and every day when we are willing to make God's love and peace grow in us and in our world. Lord, we are happy that you are here among us. B. Begin In A Small Way When the task to carry out what we ought to do certainly exceeds our potentials, what can we do about it? When the problem is too large for us to handle— like injustice and violence in the world, the lack of love, the disunity among people—what is there that we little people can do? We can begin by acting responsibly in our own little corner, with the people around us and by doing well what we have to do. This is John the Baptist's advice to those who come to him for conversion. This is what they have to do to hasten the coming of the Savior. This is perhaps all we can do to bring Christ today in our world.
The Lord's joy becomes tangible for us also when he can reconcile us with himself in the pardon he offers us all the time. (pause) Lord Jesus, you are a God near to us and so we dare to say: Keep us in your love. Lord, have mercy.R/ Lord, have mercy. Jesus Christ, with you near to us we have no more evil to fear. Keep us in your joy: Christ, have mercy.R/ Christ, have mercy. Lord Jesus, you ask us to be happy and no longer to worry, for you are near. Keep us in your peace. Lord, have mercy.R/ Lord, have mercy. God among us, heal us from the fears caused by sin and bring us the joy of your forgiveness. Lead us to everlasting life.R/ Amen.
A. Called To Joy Let us pray that we may welcome with joy Christ and his Good News (pause) God, source of all happiness, your Son Jesus Christ brought to us and to all glad tidings of your pardon and life. Our hearts remain restless until they find rest and peace in you. Let your joy be our joy, your love be our love, your acceptance of us be our welcome to all our brothers and sisters. With Jesus in our midst, may our communities be happy and be a foretaste, even in trials, of the lasting joy you have prepared for us. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.R/ Amen.B. Begin In A Small Way Let us pray for the courage to do well what we have to do in life (pause) Our faithful God, give us the courage to welcome your Son by sharing what we have, doing well what is right and just, and spreading peace. Let your Son Jesus baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire, that he may renew us by his love and let our hearts overflow with joy because Jesus is alive among us. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading Introduction:The Lord Will Come In Your Midst To a people surrounded by enemies the prophet announces: the Lord will forgive you and bring you joy. He will live among you and renew you by his love.
Second Reading Introduction:Rejoice, The Lord Is Near!
Christians should always be joyful people, says St Paul. Their joy must be contagious, for the Lord is always near to them.
Gospel Introduction:Concrete Actions!
We wait and prepare for the coming of the Lord by doing well the everyday things that our calling demands, particularly with regard to others.
If there is too little joy among us, it is perhaps because we are not Christian enough. Let us pray to the God of joy that we may always live in his peace and joy, and let us say:R/ Lord, you are all our joy. • For the Church, that it may always proclaim the Gospel as good tidings of great joy, as a message of liberation and hope for all, let us pray:R/ Lord, you are all our joy. • For today's cold world of management and production, with its manipulation and injustice, that it may again pay attention to people and regain a sense of joy and celebration, let us pray:R/ Lord, you are all our joy. • For the poor and those who suffer, that we may give them not only what they need but bring them the warmth of our love and the joy of hope, let us pray:R/ Lord, you are all our joy. • For Christians everywhere, that we may learn to keep our serenity in the trials that are part of life and that we may see the relative value of things, let us pray:R/ Lord, you are all our joy. • And for all of us, that we may have a sense of humor that can laugh at our own expense and a sense of gratuitousness that can do things for free and out of pure joy, let us pray:R/ Lord, you are all our joy. Lord our God, you have brought us freedom through Jesus your Son. May we live in your hands as free people and people of great joy. We ask this through Christ our Lord.R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord, God of life and happiness, your Son Jesus won the joy of his resurrection through painful suffering and death. With him we want to accept tensions and pain without losing our inner peace, to possess without attachment and to love without complete fulfillment, to cherish ourselves without deserting others, to work for the future without reaping results and to encounter Christ, without knowing him fully. Let this be our offering to you that brings us your joy for ever and ever.R/ Amen.
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, through Christ our Lord.
For he assumed at his first coming the lowliness of human flesh, and so fulfilled the design you formed long ago, and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, that, when he comes again in glory and majesty and all is at last made manifest, we who watch for that day may inherit the great promise in which now we dare to hope.
And so, with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions, and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven, we sing the hymn of your glory, as without end we acclaim:
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
The Lord Jesus is very near to us here in this Eucharist. Let us pray and offer with him that he may also be close to us in people and in the life of every day.
Invitation to the Lord's Prayer
With the fullest trust and joy let us pray to our Father in heaven in the words of Jesus himself:R/ Our Father...
Deliver us Lord, from every evil and grant us your peace in our day. Keep us free from worrying about the future and give us each day a fresh provision of joy. Help us to do well the task you have assigned to us in life and to spread happiness, as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.R/ For the kingdom...
Invitation to Communion
This is the Lord who said: Do not let your hearts be troubled. You are sad now but I shall see you again and then your hearts will be full of joy. No one shall take that joy away from you. Happy are we to be invited to the Lord's meal of joy. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer after Communion
God our Father, you have refreshed our hope and joy in this holy meal with your Son. Help us to seek joy and happiness not in personal contentment nor in things but in people and in you, in human kindness and in sharing, and in doing all things well. Make our every day new and worth living through the presence among us of Jesus Christ our Lord.R/ Amen.
We have our share of cares and worries just like anyone else. Yet, on account of our trust in God and the quiet assurance that the Lord is ever near to us, we keep our serenity and joy. Let your Christian joy be contagious, with the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.R/ Amen. Go in the hope and joy of the Lord.R/ Thanks be to God.