December 15th, 2018

Saturday of Populus Zion (Advent 2)

First Reading: Is. 30:27-31:9

 27 See, the Name of the LORD comes from afar,
       with burning anger and dense clouds of smoke;
       his lips are full of wrath,
       and his tongue is a consuming fire.

 28 His breath is like a rushing torrent,
       rising up to the neck.
       He shakes the nations in the sieve of destruction;
       he places in the jaws of the peoples
       a bit that leads them astray.

 29 And you will sing
       as on the night you celebrate a holy festival;
       your hearts will rejoice
       as when people go up with flutes
       to the mountain of the LORD,
       to the Rock of Israel.

 30 The LORD will cause men to hear his majestic voice
       and will make them see his arm coming down
       with raging anger and consuming fire,
       with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.

 31 The voice of the LORD will shatter Assyria;
       with his scepter he will strike them down.

 32 Every stroke the LORD lays on them
       with his punishing rod
       will be to the music of tambourines and harps,
       as he fights them in battle with the blows of his arm.

 33 Topheth has long been prepared;
       it has been made ready for the king.
       Its fire pit has been made deep and wide,
       with an abundance of fire and wood;
       the breath of the LORD,
       like a stream of burning sulfur,
       sets it ablaze.

Woe to Those Who Rely on Egypt
 1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
       who rely on horses,
       who trust in the multitude of their chariots
       and in the great strength of their horsemen,
       but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
       or seek help from the LORD.

 2 Yet he too is wise and can bring disaster;
       he does not take back his words.
       He will rise up against the house of the wicked,
       against those who help evildoers.

 3 But the Egyptians are men and not God;
       their horses are flesh and not spirit.
       When the LORD stretches out his hand,
       he who helps will stumble,
       he who is helped will fall;
       both will perish together.

 4 This is what the LORD says to me:
       "As a lion growls,
       a great lion over his prey—
       and though a whole band of shepherds
       is called together against him,
       he is not frightened by their shouts
       or disturbed by their clamor—
       so the LORD Almighty will come down
       to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights.

 5 Like birds hovering overhead,
       the LORD Almighty will shield Jerusalem;
       he will shield it and deliver it,
       he will 'pass over' it and will rescue it."

 6 Return to him you have so greatly revolted against, O Israelites. 7 For in that day every one of you will reject the idols of silver and gold your sinful hands have made.

 8 "Assyria will fall by a sword that is not of man;
       a sword, not of mortals, will devour them.
       They will flee before the sword
       and their young men will be put to forced labor.

 9 Their stronghold will fall because of terror;
       at sight of the battle standard their commanders will panic,"
       declares the LORD,
       whose fire is in Zion,
       whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

Second Reading: Rev. 3:1-22

To the Church in Sardis

 1"To the angel[a] of the church in Sardis write:
      These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits[b]of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. 6He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

To the Church in Philadelphia

 7"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
      These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. 11I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. 13He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

To the Church in Laodicea

 14"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
      These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Footnotes:Revelation 3:1 Or messenger; also in verses 7 and 14 Revelation 3:1 Or the sevenfold Spirit


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