SIMPLE / PURPLE
INTROIT Ps. 79:4, 2
Come, O Lord, and show us Thy face, Thou that sittest upon the Cherubim: and we shall be saved.
Ps. 79:2. Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep.
Glory be . . .
Let us pray.
Let us kneel.
O God, who seest that we are afflicted because of our iniquity, mercifully grant that we may be comforted by Thy visitation: Who livest . . .
LESSON Isa. 19:20-22
In those days, they shall cry to the Lord because of the oppressor, and he shall send them a Saviour and a defender to deliver them. And the Lord shall be known by Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall worship him with sacrifices and offerings: and they shall make vows to the Lord, and perform them. And the Lord shall strike Egypt with a scourge, and shall heal it, and they shall return to the Lord, and he shall be pacified towards them, and heal them.
GRADUAL Ps. 18:7, 2
His going out is from the end of heaven: and His circuit even to the end thereof. The heavens show forth the glory of God: and the firmament declareth the work of His hands.
O God, who didst deaden the flames of fire for the three children: mercifully grant that the flame of vice may not consume us Thy servants. Through our Lord . . .
EPISTLE 2 Thess. 2:1-8
Brethren, we beseech you, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and of our gathering together unto Him: That you be not easily moved from your sense nor be terrified, neither by spirit nor by word nor by epistle. as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition Who opposeth and is lifted up above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. Remember you not that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh: only that he who now holdeth do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed: whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of His mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.
TRACT Ps. 79:2, 3
Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep. Thou that sittest upon the Cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasses. Stir up Thy might, O Lord, and come and save us.
GOSPEL St. Luke 3:1-6
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Iturea and the country of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilina: Under the high priests Anna and Caiphas: the word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zachary, in the desert. And he came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of penance for the remission of sins. As it was written in the book of the sayings of Isaias the prophet: A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be brought low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways plain. And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Zac. 9:9
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion, shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem: Behold thy King will come to thee, the Holy and Savior.
O Lord, we beseech Thee, look down favorably upon these present Sacrifices: that they may profit us unto both devotion and salvation. Through our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Ps. 18:6, 7
He hath rejoiced as a giant to run the way: His going out is from the end of heaven, and His circuit even to the end thereof.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, our God, that the most holy Mysteries, which Thou hast given us for a safeguard of our renewal, may become our remedy both now and for time to come. Through our Lord . . .
Today is one of the most inspiring days preceding Christmas! It is the feast of "Our Lady of Expectation," mostly unknown to many in these modern times, but still kept alive in many countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy and Poland as well as in a few religious orders. In older editions of missals, this feast is still listed as a votive Mass.
The feast is celebrated on the 18th of December, a week before Christmas Day. Our Blessed Lady, well advanced in pregnancy, is portrayed in the highest dignity of her Divine Motherhood. Dressed in royal apparel as daughter of David the King, she awaits with joy the arrival of her divine Son, Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Her whole posture suggests how she remains wholly consumed in contemplation of her Son under her heart. Her immaculate womb has become a living portable sanctuary of divinity. There are special prayers and novenas to "Our Lady of Expectation" available for women who cannot conceive or bear a child.
The votive Mass of "Our Lady of Expectation" is theologically enlightening and spiritually enriching for the time of Advent and Christmas. With the entrance antiphon, the Church prays with the prophet for the coming of the Just One from heaven that the earth may be ready to welcome the Savior: "Send victory like a dew, you heavens, and let the clouds rain down the just. Let the earth open for salvation to spring up" (Is 45:8). In the opening prayer, the Church offers the prayer to God through Mary's intercession: "O God who wished that your Word would take the flesh from the womb of the Virgin as announced by the Angel and whom we confess to be the true Mother of God, may we be helped by her intercession."
This wonderful feast also reminds us that it has been almost nine months since the Annunciation/Incarnation (March 25) and that Jesus developed in Mary's womb just like we did in our mother's womb. Think of all the millions of babies who never make it through the nine months because their mothers have aborted them. May God, through the intercession of the Expectant Mother Mary, take their souls into His Kingdom.
Our Lady of Expectation: Pray for us!