January 5th, 2019

Christmastide XII


First Reading: Is. 65:8-25


8 Thus says the LORD:
      “ As the new wine is found in the cluster,
      And one says, ‘Do not destroy it,
      For a blessing is in it,’
      So will I do for My servants’ sake,
      That I may not destroy them all.
       9 I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,
      And from Judah an heir of My mountains;
      My elect shall inherit it,
      And My servants shall dwell there.
       10 Sharon shall be a fold of flocks,
      And the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down,
      For My people who have sought Me.
       11 “ But you are those who forsake the LORD,
      Who forget My holy mountain,
      Who prepare a table for Gad,[a]
      And who furnish a drink offering for Meni.[b]
       12 Therefore I will number you for the sword,
      And you shall all bow down to the slaughter;
      Because, when I called, you did not answer;
      When I spoke, you did not hear,
      But did evil before My eyes,
      And chose that in which I do not delight.” 13 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
      “ Behold, My servants shall eat,
      But you shall be hungry;
      Behold, My servants shall drink,
      But you shall be thirsty;
      Behold, My servants shall rejoice,
      But you shall be ashamed;
       14 Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart,
      But you shall cry for sorrow of heart,
      And wail for grief of spirit.
       15 You shall leave your name as a curse to My chosen;
      For the Lord GOD will slay you,
      And call His servants by another name;
       16 So that he who blesses himself in the earth
      Shall bless himself in the God of truth;
      And he who swears in the earth
      Shall swear by the God of truth;
      Because the former troubles are forgotten,
      And because they are hidden from My eyes.

The Glorious New Creation
    17 “ For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
      And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
       18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;
      For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing,
      And her people a joy.
       19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
      And joy in My people;
      The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her,
      Nor the voice of crying.
       20 “ No more shall an infant from there live but a few days,
      Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days;
      For the child shall die one hundred years old,
      But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.
       21 They shall build houses and inhabit them;
      They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
       22 They shall not build and another inhabit;
      They shall not plant and another eat;
      For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people,
      And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
       23 They shall not labor in vain,
      Nor bring forth children for trouble;
      For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD,
      And their offspring with them.
       24 “ It shall come to pass
      That before they call, I will answer;
      And while they are still speaking, I will hear.
       25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
      The lion shall eat straw like the ox,
      And dust shall be the serpent’s food.
      They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,”
      Says the LORD.

Footnotes:Isaiah 65:11 Literally Troop or Fortune, a pagan deity Isaiah 65:11 Literally Number or Destiny, a pagan deity


Second Reading: Luke 3:1-20


John the Baptist Prepares the Way

 1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests,[a] the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, 4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying:
      “ The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
      ‘ Prepare the way of the LORD;
      Make His paths straight.
       5 Every valley shall be filled
      And every mountain and hill brought low;
      The crooked places shall be made straight
      And the rough ways smooth;
       6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”[b]

John Preaches to the People

    7 Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 9 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” 10 So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?” 11 He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.” 12 Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than what is appointed for you.” 14 Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.” 15 Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not, 16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” 18 And with many other exhortations he preached to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,[c] and for all the evils which Herod had done, 20 also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison.

Footnotes:Luke 3:2 NU-Text and M-Text read in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas. Luke 3:6 Isaiah 40:3–5 Luke 3:19 NU-Text reads his brother’s wife.


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