The Advent season is a season of preparation – of prayer, contemplation, fasting, and spiritual renewal.  It is a time in which the people of God, by God’s grace, make straight His paths in their hearts.  Advent is a “time to slow down, to take stock of the things that matter the most, and to do a thorough inner housecleaning.  As the ancient dogma of the Church asserts, Advent is a Little Pascha – a time of fasting, prayer, confession, and reconciliation.”

The readings for week three focus on the immediate events preceding the birth of Christ, from the prophecies surrounding John the Baptist and his birth to the angel’s appearance to Mary and Joseph.

Sunday, December 13th – Third Sunday of Advent

Luke 1:5-17 – An angel of the Lord tells Zechariah of John the Baptist’s birth and his role in preparing the way for the Messiah.

Monday, December 14th

Luke 1:13-25 – The angel’s prophecy concerning John the Baptist comes true, as well as the miraculous sign given to Zechariah in anticipation of his birth.

Tuesday, December 15th

Luke 1:26-38 – The angel Gabriel visits the virgin Mary, telling her of God’s plan that she give birth to the Messiah.

Wednesday, December 16th

Matthew 1:18-25 – Joseph also receives a visit from an angel of the Lord, assuring him to take Mary as his wife.

Thursday, December 17th

Luke 1:39-56 – Mary visits Elizabeth who is pregnant with John the Baptist and sings the “Magnificat” – her beautiful song of praise to the Lord

Friday, December 18th

Luke 1:57-66 – John the Baptist is born!

Saturday, December 19th

Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah rejoices at the birth of his son and, being filled with the Holy Spirit, prophecies about what the Lord has done.