December 22nd, 2018

Saturday of Gaudete (Advent 3)

First Reading: Is. 43:1-24

Israel's Only Savior

 1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
       he who created you, O Jacob,
       he who formed you, O Israel:
       "Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
       I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

 2 When you pass through the waters,
       I will be with you;
       and when you pass through the rivers,
       they will not sweep over you.
       When you walk through the fire,
       you will not be burned;
       the flames will not set you ablaze.

 3 For I am the LORD, your God,
       the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
       I give Egypt for your ransom,
       Cush [a] and Seba in your stead.

 4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
       and because I love you,
       I will give men in exchange for you,
       and people in exchange for your life.

 5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
       I will bring your children from the east
       and gather you from the west.

 6 I will say to the north, 'Give them up!'
       and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.'
       Bring my sons from afar
       and my daughters from the ends of the earth-

 7 everyone who is called by my name,
       whom I created for my glory,
       whom I formed and made."

 8 Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
       who have ears but are deaf.

 9 All the nations gather together
       and the peoples assemble.
       Which of them foretold this
       and proclaimed to us the former things?
       Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,
       so that others may hear and say, "It is true."

 10 "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD,
       "and my servant whom I have chosen,
       so that you may know and believe me
       and understand that I am he.
       Before me no god was formed,
       nor will there be one after me.

 11 I, even I, am the LORD,
       and apart from me there is no savior.

 12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
       I, and not some foreign god among you.
       You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I am God.

 13 Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
       No one can deliver out of my hand.
       When I act, who can reverse it?"

God's Mercy and Israel's Unfaithfulness

 14 This is what the LORD says—
       your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
       "For your sake I will send to Babylon
       and bring down as fugitives all the Babylonians, [b]
       in the ships in which they took pride.

 15 I am the LORD, your Holy One,
       Israel's Creator, your King."

 16 This is what the LORD says—
       he who made a way through the sea,
       a path through the mighty waters,

 17 who drew out the chariots and horses,
       the army and reinforcements together,
       and they lay there, never to rise again,
       extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:

 18 "Forget the former things;
       do not dwell on the past.

 19 See, I am doing a new thing!
       Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
       I am making a way in the desert
       and streams in the wasteland.

 20 The wild animals honor me,
       the jackals and the owls,
       because I provide water in the desert
       and streams in the wasteland,
       to give drink to my people, my chosen,

 21 the people I formed for myself
       that they may proclaim my praise.

 22 "Yet you have not called upon me, O Jacob,
       you have not wearied yourselves for me, O Israel.

 23 You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings,
       nor honored me with your sacrifices.
       I have not burdened you with grain offerings
       nor wearied you with demands for incense.

 24 You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me,
       or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices.
       But you have burdened me with your sins
       and wearied me with your offenses.

Footnotes:Isaiah 43:3 That is, the upper Nile region Isaiah 43:14 Or Chaldeans

Second Reading: Rev. 9:13-10:11

 13The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns[a] of the golden altar that is before God. 14It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." 15And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. 16The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their number.

 17The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 19The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.

 20The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.

The Angel and the Little Scroll
 1Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. 2He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke. 4And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, "Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down."

 5Then the angel I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. 6And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, "There will be no more delay! 7But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets."

 8Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: "Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land."

 9So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, "Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey." 10I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. 11Then I was told, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings."

Footnotes:Revelation 9:13 That is, projections


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