— The Lord’s Day —
Advent Week 3: Sunday

“The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; He has sent me to bring good news to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, release to the prisoners. To announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God.” (Isaiah 61:1-2)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria reflects on these verses from today’s First Reading:

“Being God by nature, the Only Begotten is the holy of holies, and he sanctifies all creation and so originates from the holy Father with the Holy Spirit proceeding from him and sending in the power from above to those on earth who recognize him. How was he sanctified? For he is God and man equally; he gives the Spirit to creation but receives the Spirit on account of being human.

“Acceptable” is that year in which we were received, when we took kinship with him, having our sins washed away through holy baptism and becoming partakers of the divine nature through the sharing of the Holy Spirit. Or “acceptable” is the year in which he revealed his glory through the divine miracle attesting the message. We received the time for salvation gladly — the day of reckoning is none other than the time of his dwelling among us in which the reckoning has been given by him to those believing in him through the promise in hope. For the Savior himself said, “Now is the judgment of this world, now is the prince of the world cast out.” The time of reckoning, then, is in this manner, when Christ illuminated the world.” (Commentary on Isaiah, 5)

O God, who see how your people
faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity,
enable us, we pray,
to attain the joys of so great a salvation
and to celebrate them always
with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen