December 12th, 2018

Wednesday of Populus Zion (Advent 2)

First Reading: Is. 29:1-14

Woe to David's City

 1 Woe to you, Ariel, Ariel,
       the city where David settled!
       Add year to year
       and let your cycle of festivals go on.

 2 Yet I will besiege Ariel;
       she will mourn and lament,
       she will be to me like an altar hearth. [a]

 3 I will encamp against you all around;
       I will encircle you with towers
       and set up my siege works against you.

 4 Brought low, you will speak from the ground;
       your speech will mumble out of the dust.
       Your voice will come ghostlike from the earth;
       out of the dust your speech will whisper.

 5 But your many enemies will become like fine dust,
       the ruthless hordes like blown chaff.
       Suddenly, in an instant,

 6 the LORD Almighty will come
       with thunder and earthquake and great noise,
       with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire.

 7 Then the hordes of all the nations that fight against Ariel,
       that attack her and her fortress and besiege her,
       will be as it is with a dream,
       with a vision in the night-

 8 as when a hungry man dreams that he is eating,
       but he awakens, and his hunger remains;
       as when a thirsty man dreams that he is drinking,
       but he awakens faint, with his thirst unquenched.
       So will it be with the hordes of all the nations
       that fight against Mount Zion.

 9 Be stunned and amazed,
       blind yourselves and be sightless;
       be drunk, but not from wine,
       stagger, but not from beer.

 10 The LORD has brought over you a deep sleep:
       He has sealed your eyes (the prophets);
       he has covered your heads (the seers).

 11 For you this whole vision is nothing but words sealed in a scroll. And if you give the scroll to someone who can read, and say to him, "Read this, please," he will answer, "I can't; it is sealed." 12 Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, "Read this, please," he will answer, "I don't know how to read."

 13 The Lord says:
       "These people come near to me with their mouth
       and honor me with their lips,
       but their hearts are far from me.
       Their worship of me
       is made up only of rules taught by men. [b]

 14 Therefore once more I will astound these people
       with wonder upon wonder;
       the wisdom of the wise will perish,
       the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."

Footnotes:Isaiah 29:2 The Hebrew for altar hearth sounds like the Hebrew for Ariel . Isaiah 29:13 Hebrew; Septuagint They worship me in vain; / their teachings are but rules taught by men

Second Reading: Jude 1-25

 1Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,
      To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by[a] Jesus Christ:

 2Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.

The sin and doom of Godless men
 3Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. 4For certain men whose condemnation was written about[b] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

 5Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord[c] delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. 6And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. 7In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

 8In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings. 9But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" 10Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals—these are the very things that destroy them.

 11Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.

 12These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.

 14Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him." 16These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

A call to persevere
 17But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." 19These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

 20But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

 22Be merciful to those who doubt; 23snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

 24To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

Footnotes:Jude 1:1 Or for; or in Jude 1:4 Or men who were marked out for condemnation Jude 1:5 Some early manuscripts Jesus


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