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Advent calendar 2023 - 17 December

Jesus washes his disciple’s feet.

John replied, 'I baptise you with water; but there stands among you – unknown to you – that one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo his sandal-strap.'

John 1:27

In the wilderness, on the margins of society, John the Baptist offers faithful witness to the work of God. He draws attention, not to himself, but to Christ; the one who is to come and whose sandal strap he feels he is unworthy to undo. 

As we listen to these words of John, our mind may turn to a scene three years later. An upper room, where Christ kneels on a dusty floor and undoes the straps of his friends’ sandals to wash the dirt from their feet. In this act of gentle service, Jesus reveals to us the heart of God and shows us how to give our own lives in love. 

Today is Gaudete Sunday (Latin for ‘rejoice’) and there is much to celebrate. We reflect on John’s humble witness to Christ, the one who shows us a new way to live and who is with us as we seek to bring his hope and love to our broken world.

Advent prayer

God of all, 
John the Baptist 
came to bear witness to your light.  
Fill us with faith 
and the courage to act upon it,  
so that we may shine a light in the darkness.  


Share joy by joining the CAFOD Christmas Fun Run on 27 December with your family and friends, running, walking or toddling. Burn off those mince pies and do some good at the same time!

Sign up here

Christmas Fun Run

Wednesday 27 December, 11am

Join our Fun Run on 27 Dec, you can take part in person in Liverpool or Bollington or virtually from wherever you are!