O come, o come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear. Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel.”

17 December. Sunday Advent 3B.  Live in Joy! Three candles are lit on the Advent wreath and we pray to live in joy!  Fr Teddy looked around the congregation and noted that it had grown much smaller as people had started to go away.  Nevertheless, he focused on those staying behind and others coming to visit. That is how families experience Advent and Christmas  in many parts of the country. He said to them, “ This is holiday time but Advent is also a serious time of reflection. So far we have had COP 28 the climate conference, and 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM plus being faced with images and news of the wars and conflicts around the world.  However its real purpose is to celebrate the fulfilment of the promise of a Messiah and our welcoming him each year with great joy.   What are the real joys in your family life? Are they simple everyday things like having fun together or bigger things, like father and other family members coming home from work for the holidays, or for some of us a going away together?  Working at and achieving family unity in our own particular type of family is one of a family’s most important tasks. When you spend a little prayer time together use it to practice the ‘listening and sharing’ technique I have spoken with you about. It is a very valuable way to communicate.” He concluded, “I will miss my own family but look forward to enjoying special time with some of you. Please invite me!”   

Scripture:  The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted.  I will rejoice greatly in the Lord.   As the earth brings forth its shoots and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring before all the nations. Is 61.  Pope Francis: General audience November 15 2023. “An encounter with Jesus always brings you joy and if this does not happen to you it is not a true encounter with Jesus.” Pope Francis concluded by offering comforting words for the faithful to take to heart, and some homework. “Each of us today take a little time and think: ‘Jesus, You are within me: I want to meet You every day. You are a Person, not an idea; You are a companion, not a programme. You are Love that solves so many problems. You are the beginning of evangelization, of good news for all.  You, Jesus, are the source of joy.’ Amen”   Reflect, share, and pray.  Don’t forget, The family that prays, + plays together, stays together!