Almighty ever-living God, as we see how the Nativity of your Son according to the flesh draws near, we pray that to us, your unworthy servants, mercy may flow from your Word, who chose to become flesh of the Virgin Mary and establish among us his dwelling, Jesus Christ our Lord. Who lives and reigns with you. .
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the day of the Lord comes.
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Malachi (Malachi 3:1-4;4:5-6)
Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? “For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the Lord. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a curse.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm25:4-5ab.8-9.10 and 14(R. see Luke 21 :28)
R/. Look up and raise your heads,
Because your redemption is drawing near.
O Lord, make me know your ways.
Teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth, and teach me;
for you are the God of my salvation. R.
Good and upright is the Lord;
he shows the way to sinners.
He guides the humble in right judgement;
to the humble he teaches his way. R.
All the Lord’s paths are mercy and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and commands.
The Lord’s secret is for those who fear him;
to them he reveals his covenant. R.
Alleluia. Alleluia. Come, O King of the nations and cornerstone of the Church! Come and save man, whom you formed from the clay of the earth. Alleluia.
The birth of John the Baptist.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 1:57-66)
The time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. And her neighbours and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.” And they said to her, “None of your kindred is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all marvelled. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbours. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Day of the Lord is the day the Lord is going to bring joy to his children and judgement upon his enemies. This Day of the Lord can happen even now. Will it be joy or sorrow for you? The good news is that the Lord promises to send us a prophet to prepare us before that day, and this is symbolized by the birth of John the Baptist. But the sad news is that this prophet comes to us daily but we fail to recognize him. How seriously do you take those little experiences you have daily? Do you hear the voice of prophecy in them calling you to God? May God give us the grace to be prepared at all times for the day of his coming to us. Amen