In the third week in Advent, gather with the family to light the third candle. This is the candle, and the week, of joy and it’s the week in which we remember the visit of the angels to the shepherds. It’s a subversive act of protest to shout for joy when the darkest night of the year is coming. But that’s what the angels do. We can lean into joy knowing with full confidence that the darkness does not have the final word. 

Explain: Explain that the third week of Advent is the week of joy and it’s the time when we remember the good news that the angels brought to the shepherd. 


Read Luke 2: 8-20

The angel’s message to the shepherds is the joyful news that the Savior promised to Israel in its days of darkness is now a present reality: God is with us in the flesh. He is no longer a distant entity, known from afar, but truly close to us. The single angle was joined by many others who praised God and said, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

It's like God was making a peace treaty with humanity through the birth of His Son. 

The proclamation that “a savior has been born for you” is a message that compels us to take a position. Benedict XVI tells us that “if it is true, it changes everything. If it is true, it also affects me. Like the shepherds, then, I too must say: ‘Come on; I want to Bethlehem to see the Word that has occurred there.’ The story of the shepherds is included in the Gospel for a reason: they show us the right way to respond to the message that we too have received”

Other readings: Luke 2 and Isaiah 61

End with a time of prayer