Rejoice with all your heart


English: Advent Wreath with Candles

Third Sunday of Advent

Despite his fierce portrayal of the day of judgment, the prophet Zephaniah is best known to Catholics for an exultant passage, 3:14-20. It is twice quoted in our seasonal liturgies, once during the Easter vigil and again for the Third Sunday of Advent. Only a few days ago, for Gaudate Sunday, we heard again these stirring words:

Shout for joy, daughter Zion! sing joyfully, Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart, daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you,
he has turned away your enemies;
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, Zion, do not be discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior,
Who will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love,
Who will sing joyfully because of you, as on festival days.
I will remove disaster from among you,
so that no one may recount your disgrace.
At that time I will deal with all who oppress you;
I will save the lame, and assemble the outcasts;
I will give them praise and renown
in every land where they were shame.
At that time I will bring you home,
and at that time I will gather you;
For I will give you renown and praise,
among all the peoples of the earth,
When I bring about your restoration
before your very eyes, says the LORD.

One response to “Rejoice with all your heart

  1. Martha, I am enjoying your posts — I think you are liking those prophets!
    I will take away two thoughts in particular — to walk humbly with God,
    and the passage you quoted about the prophets having an accurate perception of the present. This passage about the prophets’ perception struck me because so often, my perception of the present is distorted, and it is only later that I realize that it was not all quite so serious, that God was with me, and that all was well. I wish I could be more aware of that perception in the present! Thank you!

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