Advent 3 Sunday A - Liturgical Prayers

A. There Shall Be No Poor Among You   
B. Joy in the Lord's Coming 

Readings: Is 35:1-6, 10; Ps 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10; Jas 5:7-10; Mt 11:2-11

Greeting (From the Entrance Antiphon)
Rejoice in the Lord always: the Lord is near. He is here among us. May the Lord Jesus always be with you. R/ And also with you.
Introduction by the Celebrant

A. There Shall Be No Poor Among You:  Among the main signs which Jesus quotes about his being the long expected Messiah is that he brought the Good News to the poor. The prophets of the Old Testament had said that the Savior would do this. Even in the Law it had already been said "There shall be no poor among you." The poor were Jesus' great concern. We are disciples of Jesus. How much do we reach out to the poor like him? How many poor are there still among us? Let us ask our Lord in this eucharist to make us aware of the poverty around us and to make us signs of his presence to the poor.

B. Joy in the Lord's Coming Where people hope, there is always a spirit of eager anticipation. The waiting for something great to happen brings with it a lively joy, sometimes greater than the possession of what we had been waiting for. Our joy during this Advent season comes from our awareness that the Lord is already with us and also that, if we let him, he will even become nearer to us, when we let him make us more like him. We welcome Jesus here among us.

Penitential Act
Let us ask forgiveness from the Lord that we have closed our eyes and have not seen or helped the plight of the poor. (PAUSE) Lord Jesus, you gave sight to the blind. Make us see the distress of the poor. Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.  Jesus Christ, you made the deaf hear. Open our ears to the cries of the weak. Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.  Lord Jesus, you made the lame walk. Make us lift up those paralyzed by their fears and failures. Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.  Forgive us our sins, Lord and make us more like you. Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

Opening Prayer
Let us pray that people may recognize in us that our saving God is here (PAUSE) Lord, God of hope and joy, you want to come among us and to be near to us today through your Son Jesus Christ. Let it become visible that he lives among us when we are near to one another and bring hope and justice especially to the poor and to those who suffer. May people recognize in this way that he is the one to come and receive him with joy. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

Liturgy of the Word

First Reading Introduction: Joy to Those Who Suffer       
Through his prophet, God promises that he himself will come to set his people free. Jesus will bring this hope and joy to the poor and those who suffer.

Second Reading Introduction: Be Patient: The Lord is Coming        
James encourages the community, especially the poor: Do not become bitter but be patient. The Lord will save you soon.

Gospel Introduction: The Good News Proclaimed to the Poor        
Jesus brings God's love to the poor and to those who suffer; in this way he fulfills what the prophet had said about the coming of God's new world.

General Intercessions
Let us pray to Jesus our Lord that he may wait no longer to bring us the joy of living more deeply among us. Let us say: R/ Come, Lord Jesus.  - We have created in our world too many deserts where love is absent. That our Lord may make our deserts fertile and let them bloom with the joy of love, we pray:  R/ Come, Lord Jesus.  - We have refused to dialogue with one another. That the Lord may open our deaf ears and give speech to our silent lips, to bring us the joy of unity and understanding, let us pray: R/ Come, Lord Jesus.  - We have built prisons for one another. That the Lord who sets prisoners free may restore the freedom of all, let us pray: R/ Come, Lord Jesus.  - We often declare war against one another. That the Lord may extinguish all hatred and bring us the joy of his peace, let us pray: R/ Come, Lord Jesus.  - We have let the poor go hungry. That the Lord may move us to share our food and love with one another, let us pray: R/ Come, Lord Jesus. - We have let our faith dry up. That the Lord may open our hearts and restore the joy of our faith in his presence. Let us pray: R/ Come, Lord Jesus. Come, Lord Jesus, come and save us. Without you we are powerless, but with you we can do the impossible. For you are our Lord for ever.  R/ Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts
God, our Father, in this eucharistic celebration your Son comes among us to share himself with us in the sign of bread to be broken and a cup of joy to be passed around. Make us deeply aware how much giving himself and bringing joy is Jesus' way of coming. Give us the courage to do for others what he did and still does for us, that he may be alive among us now and for ever. R/ Amen.

Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
With thanks to the Father we welcome Christ in our midst in this eucharist and we pray that he may become visible in us.

Preface of Advent III
(Note. By way of a model, we give here Preface III for Advent, found in the official Missal for German-speaking countries as one of two additional Advent prefaces.) We give you thanks, Father in heaven, and we praise you through our Lord Jesus Christ. You promised him as the Savior to a humanity gone astray. His truth is a light for those who seek, his power gives strength to the weak, his holiness brings forgiveness to sinners. For he is the Savior of the world whom you sent because you are faithful. And so, with all the choirs of angels in heaven we proclaim your glory and join in their unending hymn of praise. R/ Holy, holy,...

Invitation to the Lord's Prayer
With Jesus, we pray to our Father in heaven the trusting prayer of the poor, who know that all good things come from the hands of God: R/ Our Father...

Deliver Us
Deliver us, Lord, from the evil of sin, from the blindness that closes our eyes to you and to the needs of the poor. Open our ears to your word and to the wants of those around us. Make us walk in your ways and set us free from our selfishness. Help us to prepare in joy and hope the liberating coming among us of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...

Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus the Lord, who proclaimed the Good News to the poor, freedom to prisoners, and joy to those in sorrow. Happy are we to receive him with joy. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...

Prayer after Communion
God our Father, you have entrusted to us, your people, the mission of Jesus, your Son. Help us to strengthen the weary, to give hope to the discouraged, to be near to the poor and the weak and to lift up, with the gentleness of Jesus, those sitting down by the roadside of life. But remember us too, for we are but weak and fallible people, and stay with us through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

God has shown us in Jesus his concern for all that is weak and wounded. If Jesus is alive among us, he wants to extend this care through us. May the Lord continue to come in our world through our love and compassion, and may God bless you for this task: the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen. Let us be these days each other's support and joy.  R/ Thanks be to God.