December 17th, 2018

Daniel the Prophet and the Three Young Men


First Reading: Is. 33:1-24


Distress and Help

 1 Woe to you, O destroyer,
       you who have not been destroyed!
       Woe to you, O traitor,
       you who have not been betrayed!
       When you stop destroying,
       you will be destroyed;
       when you stop betraying,
       you will be betrayed.

 2 O LORD, be gracious to us;
       we long for you.
       Be our strength every morning,
       our salvation in time of distress.

 3 At the thunder of your voice, the peoples flee;
       when you rise up, the nations scatter.

 4 Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts;
       like a swarm of locusts men pounce on it.

 5 The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high;
       he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness.

 6 He will be the sure foundation for your times,
       a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
       the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure. [a]

 7 Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets;
       the envoys of peace weep bitterly.

 8 The highways are deserted,
       no travelers are on the roads.
       The treaty is broken,
       its witnesses [b] are despised,
       no one is respected.

 9 The land mourns [c] and wastes away,
       Lebanon is ashamed and withers;
       Sharon is like the Arabah,
       and Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves.

 10 "Now will I arise," says the LORD.
       "Now will I be exalted;
       now will I be lifted up.

 11 You conceive chaff,
       you give birth to straw;
       your breath is a fire that consumes you.

 12 The peoples will be burned as if to lime;
       like cut thornbushes they will be set ablaze."

 13 You who are far away, hear what I have done;
       you who are near, acknowledge my power!

 14 The sinners in Zion are terrified;
       trembling grips the godless:
       "Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire?
       Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?"

 15 He who walks righteously
       and speaks what is right,
       who rejects gain from extortion
       and keeps his hand from accepting bribes,
       who stops his ears against plots of murder
       and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil-

 16 this is the man who will dwell on the heights,
       whose refuge will be the mountain fortress.
       His bread will be supplied,
       and water will not fail him.

 17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty
       and view a land that stretches afar.

 18 In your thoughts you will ponder the former terror:
       "Where is that chief officer?
       Where is the one who took the revenue?
       Where is the officer in charge of the towers?"

 19 You will see those arrogant people no more,
       those people of an obscure speech,
       with their strange, incomprehensible tongue.

 20 Look upon Zion, the city of our festivals;
       your eyes will see Jerusalem,
       a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved;
       its stakes will never be pulled up,
       nor any of its ropes broken.

 21 There the LORD will be our Mighty One.
       It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams.
       No galley with oars will ride them,
       no mighty ship will sail them.

 22 For the LORD is our judge,
       the LORD is our lawgiver,
       the LORD is our king;
       it is he who will save us.

 23 Your rigging hangs loose:
       The mast is not held secure,
       the sail is not spread.
       Then an abundance of spoils will be divided
       and even the lame will carry off plunder.

 24 No one living in Zion will say, "I am ill";
       and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.

Footnotes:Isaiah 33:6 Or is a treasure from him Isaiah 33:8 Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text / the cities Isaiah 33:9 Or dries up


Second Reading: Rev. 5:1-14


The Scroll and the Lamb

 1Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" 3But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."

 6Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits[a] of God sent out into all the earth. 7He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song:
   "You are worthy to take the scroll
      and to open its seals,
   because you were slain,
      and with your blood you purchased men for God
      from every tribe and language and people and nation.
 10You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
      and they will reign on the earth."

 11Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12In a loud voice they sang:
   "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
   to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
   and honor and glory and praise!"

 13Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
   "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
   be praise and honor and glory and power,
         for ever and ever!" 14The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Footnotes:Revelation 5:6 Or the sevenfold Spirit


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