December 31st, 2018

Christmastide VII

First Reading: Is. 60:1-22

The Glory of Zion

 1 "Arise, shine, for your light has come,
       and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.

 2 See, darkness covers the earth
       and thick darkness is over the peoples,
       but the LORD rises upon you
       and his glory appears over you.

 3 Nations will come to your light,
       and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

 4 "Lift up your eyes and look about you:
       All assemble and come to you;
       your sons come from afar,
       and your daughters are carried on the arm.

 5 Then you will look and be radiant,
       your heart will throb and swell with joy;
       the wealth on the seas will be brought to you,
       to you the riches of the nations will come.

 6 Herds of camels will cover your land,
       young camels of Midian and Ephah.
       And all from Sheba will come,
       bearing gold and incense
       and proclaiming the praise of the LORD.

 7 All Kedar's flocks will be gathered to you,
       the rams of Nebaioth will serve you;
       they will be accepted as offerings on my altar,
       and I will adorn my glorious temple.

 8 "Who are these that fly along like clouds,
       like doves to their nests?

 9 Surely the islands look to me;
       in the lead are the ships of Tarshish, [a]
       bringing your sons from afar,
       with their silver and gold,
       to the honor of the LORD your God,
       the Holy One of Israel,
       for he has endowed you with splendor.

 10 "Foreigners will rebuild your walls,
       and their kings will serve you.
       Though in anger I struck you,
       in favor I will show you compassion.

 11 Your gates will always stand open,
       they will never be shut, day or night,
       so that men may bring you the wealth of the nations—
       their kings led in triumphal procession.

 12 For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish;
       it will be utterly ruined.

 13 "The glory of Lebanon will come to you,
       the pine, the fir and the cypress together,
       to adorn the place of my sanctuary;
       and I will glorify the place of my feet.

 14 The sons of your oppressors will come bowing before you;
       all who despise you will bow down at your feet
       and will call you the City of the LORD,
       Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

 15 "Although you have been forsaken and hated,
       with no one traveling through,
       I will make you the everlasting pride
       and the joy of all generations.

 16 You will drink the milk of nations
       and be nursed at royal breasts.
       Then you will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior,
       your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

 17 Instead of bronze I will bring you gold,
       and silver in place of iron.
       Instead of wood I will bring you bronze,
       and iron in place of stones.
       I will make peace your governor
       and righteousness your ruler.

 18 No longer will violence be heard in your land,
       nor ruin or destruction within your borders,
       but you will call your walls Salvation
       and your gates Praise.

 19 The sun will no more be your light by day,
       nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
       for the LORD will be your everlasting light,
       and your God will be your glory.

 20 Your sun will never set again,
       and your moon will wane no more;
       the LORD will be your everlasting light,
       and your days of sorrow will end.

 21 Then will all your people be righteous
       and they will possess the land forever.
       They are the shoot I have planted,
       the work of my hands,
       for the display of my splendor.

 22 The least of you will become a thousand,
       the smallest a mighty nation.
       I am the LORD;
       in its time I will do this swiftly."

Footnotes:Isaiah 60:9 Or the trading ships

Second Reading: Luke 1:39-56

Mary Visits Elizabeth

 39At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"

Mary's Song

 46And Mary said:
   "My soul glorifies the Lord
    47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 48for he has been mindful
      of the humble state of his servant.
   From now on all generations will call me blessed,
    49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
      holy is his name.
 50His mercy extends to those who fear him,
      from generation to generation.
 51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
      he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
 52He has brought down rulers from their thrones
      but has lifted up the humble.
 53He has filled the hungry with good things
      but has sent the rich away empty.
 54He has helped his servant Israel,
      remembering to be merciful
 55to Abraham and his descendants forever,
      even as he said to our fathers."

 56Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.


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