Readings and Reflection for December 16 Friday of the Third Week in Advent



“My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”

A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 56:1-3a.5-5)

Thus says the LORD: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from his people.” For thus says the LORD: “The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, every one who keeps the sabbath, and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant, these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. Thus says the Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM (Psalm 67 :2-3.5.7-8 (R. 4)

R/. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!

O God, be gracious and bless us

and let your face shed its light upon us.

So will your ways be known upon earth

and all nations learn your salvation. R/.

Let the nations be glad and shout for joy,

with uprightness you rule the peoples;

you guide the nations on earth. R/.

R/. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!

The earth has yielded its fruit

for God, our God, has blessed us.

May God still give us his blessing

that all the ends of the earth may revere him. R/.


Alleluia. Alleluia. Come, Lord, visit us in peace, that we may rejoice in your presence with hearts made new. Alleluia.


“John was a burning and shining lamp.”

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (John 5:33-36)

At that time: Jesus said to the Jews, “You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Not that the testimony which I receive is from man; but I say this that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has granted me to accomplish, these very works which I am doing, bear me witness that the Father has sent me.”

The Gospel of the Lord.


Jesus once again praises John the Baptist as a burning and shining lamp. The people, at least for a while, rejoice in the message of John. He bears testimony to the truth not only through his preaching but also through his martyrdom. But Jesus says His own testimony is even greater then that of John because He accomplishes His works in obedience to the Father. In the prologue of John’s Gospel we read, “He was not the light, but come to give witness to the light” (Jn 1:8). Jesus, however, is the true light that enlightens all people (Jn 1:9). He is the Word become flesh, the incarnate Son of God. We too, like John the Baptist, are called to be a “burning and shining lamp”. But our life has to be a true reflection of the light of Christ. We become so when we, like Jesus, accomplish the work of God. Does my life reflect the light of Christ?


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