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Third Sunday of Advent

Epistle  •  Philippians 4:4-7

Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Philippians.

[“The Lord is nigh,” says St. Paul, “rejoice in the Lord.” May our faith and hope in Jesus Christ Our Lord, always increase!]

Brethren, rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus Our Lord.

Gospel  •  John 1:19-28

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.  

[St. John, the Precursor of Our Lord, announces the coming of the Messias, tells of His majesty and greatness, and effaces himself before Him, for “he gives testimony of the true Light, who is Jesus.”]

At that time the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and levites to John, to ask him: Who art thou? And he confessed, and did not deny: and he confessed: I am not the Christ. And they asked him: What then? Art thou Elias? And he said: I am not. Art thou the Prophet? And he answered: No. They said therefore unto him: Who art thou, that we may give an answer to them that sent us? What sayest thou of thyself?

He said: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord, as said the Prophet Isaias. And they that were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said to him: Why then dost thou baptize, if thou be not Christ, nor Elias, nor the Prophet?

John answered them, saying: I baptize with water: but there hath stood One in the midst of you, Whom you know not. The same is He that shall come after me, Who is preferred before me: the latchet of Whose shoe I am not worthy to loose. These things were done in Bethania, beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.