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3rd Sunday in Advent, Year B

Who Was John the Baptist? 


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The readings for the Third Sunday of Advent in Year B are a little surprising and they might take a little bit of explanation, because up to this point we have been working through the Gospel of Mark, that's what Year B is dedicated to, yet already on the third Sunday of this year we now switch over out of Mark into the Gospel of St. John.  So what's going on here?  This is something that is really important to stress.  If your recall, Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels, and so one of the things that had to be decided was that when Mark was allotted a year, 52 Sundays of readings, the Church made some decisions to supplement some of the aspects that are missing from Mark’s gospel with passages from other Gospels, and in particular with the Gospel of John.  So you'll notice that what we have on the third Sunday of Advent is from the opening chapter of John's Gospel, and then you will see later on in the year when we get into ordinary time, there will actually be four or more Sundays that are taken from the Gospel of John 6, the Bread of Life discourse.  So this is just part of Year B, Year B has a mix of Gospel readings.  It is not exclusively the Gospel of Mark, and you can actually see why in this case because Advent is slowly moving us toward the preparation for the birth and the coming of Christ, and yet as I mentioned in the video on the Second Sunday of Advent, Mark doesn't have an infancy narrative.  He doesn't tell us about the birth of Christ, so by definition the Church is going to have to supplement the readings for Advent and Christmas in Years B with passages from other Gospels.  It just stands to reason...


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