December 16th, 2018

Gaudete (Advent 3)


Explanation of the Week

The voice of the Baptizer cried out in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord . . ." (Is 40:1-8). John called the people to be made ready for the Messiah's coming through repentance, for "all flesh is grass." Now He asks from prison, "Are you the Coming One?" (Mt 11:2-10) Jesus' works bear witness that He is. The sick are made well; the dead are raised, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. Their iniquity is pardoned; they have received from the Lord's hand double forgiveness for all their sins. The stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Cor 4:1-5) still deliver Christ's overflowing forgiveness to the poor in spirit, comforting God's people with the word of the Gospel which stands forever. This Gospel produces rejoicing among those who believe. For in it, "the Lord is at hand" (Introit).

Introit

Antiphon:
Rejoice in the Lord | always.*
     Again will I | say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness be known to | all men.*
     The Lord | is at hand. (Philippians 4:4-5)

Psalm:
LORD, You have been favourable | to Your land;*
     You have brought back the captivity of | Jacob.
You have forgiven the iniquity of Your | people;*
     You have covered | all their sin.
Will You not revive | us again,*
     that Your people may re- | joice in You?
I will hear what God the | Lord will speak,*
     for He will speak peace to His | people. (Psalm 85:1-2, 6, 8)

Collect (LSB)

Lord Jesus Christ, we implore You to hear our prayers and to lighten the darkness of our hearts by Your gracious visitation; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Collect (TLH)

Lord, we beseech Thee, give ear to our prayers and lighten the darkness of our hearts by Thy gracious visitation; who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost ever one god, world without end. Amen.

Collecta Latina

Aurem tuam quaesumus Domine precibus nostris accommoda, et menti nostrae tenebras gratia tuae visitationis illustra, Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus sancti Deus. Per omnia secula seculorum, Amen.

Old Testament (LSB): Isaiah 40:1-11


 1Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.

 2Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD's hand double for all her sins.

 3The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

 4Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

 5And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

 6The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:

 7The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.

 8The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

 9O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

 10Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

 11He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.



Old Testament: Mal. 3:1-6


 1Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

 2But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:

 3And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

 4Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

 5And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.

 6For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.



Gradual

You who dwell between the cherubim, | shine forth!*
     Stir up Your | strength and come!
Give ear, O Shepherd of | Israel,*
     You who lead Joseph | like a flock. (Psalm 80:1–2)

Epistle: 1 Cor. 4:1-5


 1Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

 2Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

 3But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.

 4For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

 5Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.



Verse

Alle- | luia.*
     Alle- | luia.
Stir | up Your strength,*
     and come and save us! Alle- | luia. (Psalm 80:2)

Gospel: Matt. 11:2-10


 2Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,

 3And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

 4Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:

 5The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

 6And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

 7And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

 8But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.

 9But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.

 10For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.



Offertory

LORD, You have been favourable to Your land; You have brought back the captivity of Jacob. You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people. (Psalm 85)

Matins Psalm(s): Ps. 4


 1Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

 2O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.

 3But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.

 4Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

 5Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

 6There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.

 7Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.

 8I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.



First Reading: Is. 32:1-20


 1Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.

 2And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.

 3And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken.

 4The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.

 5The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful.

 6For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.

 7The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.

 8But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.

 9Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech.

 10Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come.

 11Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins.

 12They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine.

 13Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city:

 14Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks;

 15Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.

 16Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.

 17And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

 18And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;

 19When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place.

 20Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.



Vespers Psalm(s): Ps. 98


 1O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.

 2The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.

 3He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

 4Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

 5Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.

 6With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.

 7Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

 8Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together

 9Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.



Second Reading: Rev. 4:1-11


 1After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

 2And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

 3And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

 4And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

 5And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

 6And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

 7And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

 8And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

 9And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

 10The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

 11Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.



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