December 31st, 2018

Christmastide VII

First Reading: Is. 60:1-22

The Gentiles Bless Zion

 1 Arise, shine;
      For your light has come!
      And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
       2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
      And deep darkness the people;
      But the LORD will arise over you,
      And His glory will be seen upon you.
       3 The Gentiles shall come to your light,
      And kings to the brightness of your rising.
       4 “ Lift up your eyes all around, and see:
      They all gather together, they come to you;
      Your sons shall come from afar,
      And your daughters shall be nursed at your side.
       5 Then you shall see and become radiant,
      And your heart shall swell with joy;
      Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,
      The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.
       6 The multitude of camels shall cover your land,
      The dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;
      All those from Sheba shall come;
      They shall bring gold and incense,
      And they shall proclaim the praises of the LORD.
       7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together to you,
      The rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you;
      They shall ascend with acceptance on My altar,
      And I will glorify the house of My glory.
       8 “ Who are these who fly like a cloud,
      And like doves to their roosts?
       9 Surely the coastlands shall wait for Me;
      And the ships of Tarshish will come first,
      To bring your sons from afar,
      Their silver and their gold with them,
      To the name of the LORD your God,
      And to the Holy One of Israel,
      Because He has glorified you.
       10 “ The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls,
      And their kings shall minister to you;
      For in My wrath I struck you,
      But in My favor I have had mercy on you.
       11 Therefore your gates shall be open continually;
      They shall not be shut day or night,
      That men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles,
      And their kings in procession.
       12 For the nation and kingdom which will not serve you shall perish,
      And those nations shall be utterly ruined.
       13 “ The glory of Lebanon shall come to you,
      The cypress, the pine, and the box tree together,
      To beautify the place of My sanctuary;
      And I will make the place of My feet glorious.
       14 Also the sons of those who afflicted you
      Shall come bowing to you,
      And all those who despised you shall fall prostrate at the soles of your feet;
      And they shall call you The City of the LORD,
      Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
       15 “ Whereas you have been forsaken and hated,
      So that no one went through you,
      I will make you an eternal excellence,
      A joy of many generations.
       16 You shall drink the milk of the Gentiles,
      And milk the breast of kings;
      You shall know that I, the LORD, am your Savior
      And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
       17 “ Instead of bronze I will bring gold,
      Instead of iron I will bring silver,
      Instead of wood, bronze,
      And instead of stones, iron.
      I will also make your officers peace,
      And your magistrates righteousness.
       18 Violence shall no longer be heard in your land,
      Neither wasting nor destruction within your borders;
      But you shall call your walls Salvation,
      And your gates Praise.

God the Glory of His People

    19 “ The sun shall no longer be your light by day,
      Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you;
      But the LORD will be to you an everlasting light,
      And your God your glory.
       20 Your sun shall no longer go down,
      Nor shall your moon withdraw itself;
      For the LORD will be your everlasting light,
      And the days of your mourning shall be ended.
       21 Also your people shall all be righteous;
      They shall inherit the land forever,
      The branch of My planting,
      The work of My hands,
      That I may be glorified.
       22 A little one shall become a thousand,
      And a small one a strong nation.
      I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time.”

Second Reading: Luke 1:39-56

Mary Visits Elizabeth

    39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

The Song of Mary

    46 And Mary said:
      “ My soul magnifies the Lord,
       47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
       48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
      For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
       49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
      And holy is His name.
       50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him
      From generation to generation.
       51 He has shown strength with His arm;
      He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
       52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
      And exalted the lowly.
       53 He has filled the hungry with good things,
      And the rich He has sent away empty.
       54 He has helped His servant Israel,
      In remembrance of His mercy,
       55 As He spoke to our fathers,
      To Abraham and to his seed forever.” 56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.


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