3nd Week of Advent

Sunday

Year A

Year B

Year C

___________________________

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Sunday

Year A


Isaiah 35:1-10

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
   the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
   and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
   the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
   the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands,
   and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
   ‘Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
   He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
   He will come and save you.’

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
   and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then the lame shall leap like a deer,
   and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
   and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
   and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
   the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

A highway shall be there,
   and it shall be called the Holy Way;
the unclean shall not travel on it,
   but it shall be for God’s people;
   no traveller, not even fools, shall go astray.
No lion shall be there,
   nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
   but the redeemed shall walk there.
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
   and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
   they shall obtain joy and gladness,
   and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

James 5:7-10

 Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

4
Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help! *
     whose hope is in the LORD their God;
5
Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them; *
     who keeps his promise for ever;
6
Who gives justice to those who are oppressed, *
     and food to those who hunger.
7
The LORD sets the prisoners free;
     the LORD opens the eyes of the blind; *
     the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
8
The LORD loves the righteous;
the LORD cares for the stranger; *
     he sustains the orphan and widow,
     but frustrates the way of the wicked.
9
The LORD shall reign for ever, *
     your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
     Hallelujah!


Matthew 11:2-11

 When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’

 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
   who will prepare your way before you.”
Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.


Year B


Isaiah 65:17-25

For I am about to create new heavens
   and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered
   or come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice for ever
   in what I am creating;
for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
   and its people as a delight.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
   and delight in my people;
no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,
   or the cry of distress.
No more shall there be in it
   an infant that lives but a few days,
   or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;
for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,
   and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.
They shall build houses and inhabit them;
   they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
They shall not build and another inhabit;
   they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
   and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labour in vain,
   or bear children for calamity;
for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord—
   and their descendants as well.
Before they call I will answer,
   while they are yet speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
   the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
   but the serpent—its food shall be dust!
They shall not hurt or destroy
   on all my holy mountain,

says the Lord.


1
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, *
     then were we like those who dream.
2
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, *
     and our tongue with shouts of joy.
3
Then they said among the nations, *
     "The LORD has done great things for them."
4
The LORD has done great things for us, *
     and we are glad indeed.
5
Restore our fortunes, O LORD, *
     like the watercourses of the Negev.
6
Those who sowed with tears *
     will reap with songs of joy.
7
Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, *
     will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.


John 3:23-30

John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized— John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison.

 Now a discussion about purification arose between John’s disciples and a Jew. They came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him.’ John answered, ‘No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, “I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.” He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.’


Year C


Zephaniah 3:14-20

Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
   shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
   O daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgements against you,
   he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
   you shall fear disaster no more.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
   do not let your hands grow weak.
The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
   a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
   he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
   as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you,
   so that you will not bear reproach for it.
I will deal with all your oppressors
   at that time.
And I will save the lame
   and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
   and renown in all the earth.
At that time I will bring you home,
   at the time when I gather you;
for I will make you renowned and praised
   among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
   before your eyes, says the Lord.


 
Phil 4:4-7(8-9)
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

[Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.]


1
You have been gracious to your land, O LORD, *
     you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.
2
You have forgiven the iniquity of your people *
     and blotted out all their sins.
3
You have withdrawn all your fury *
     and turned yourself from your wrathful indignation.
4
Restore us then, O God our Savior; *
     let your anger depart from us.
5
Will you be displeased with us for ever? *
     will you prolong your anger from age to age?
6
Will you not give us life again, *
     that your people may rejoice in you?
7
Show us your mercy, O LORD, *
     and grant us your salvation.
8
I will listen to what the LORD God is saying, *
     for he is speaking peace to his faithful people
     and to those who turn their hearts to him.
9
Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, *
     that his glory may dwell in our land.
10
Mercy and truth have met together; *
     righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11
Truth shall spring up from the earth, *
     and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12
The LORD will indeed grant prosperity, *
     and our land will yield its increase.
13
Righteousness shall go before him, *
     and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.

Luke 3:7-18

 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’

 And the crowds asked him, ‘What then should we do?’ In reply he said to them, ‘Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.’ Even tax-collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, ‘Teacher, what should we do?’ He said to them, ‘Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.’ Soldiers also asked him, ‘And we, what should we do?’ He said to them, ‘Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.’

 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’

 So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.


Monday

Numbers 24:2-7,15-17a

Balaam looked up and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. Then the spirit of God came upon him, and he uttered his oracle, saying:
‘The oracle of Balaam son of Beor,
   the oracle of the man whose eye is clear,
the oracle of one who hears the words of God,
   who sees the vision of the Almighty,
   who falls down, but with eyes uncovered:
how fair are your tents, O Jacob,
   your encampments, O Israel!
Like palm groves that stretch far away,
   like gardens beside a river,
like aloes that the Lord has planted,
   like cedar trees beside the waters.
Water shall flow from his buckets,
   and his seed shall have abundant water,
his king shall be higher than Agag,
   and his kingdom shall be exalted.
Balaam’s Fourth Oracle

 So he uttered his oracle, saying:
‘The oracle of Balaam son of Beor,
   the oracle of the man whose eye is clear,
the oracle of one who hears the words of God,
   and knows the knowledge of the Most High,
who sees the vision of the Almighty,
   who falls down, but with his eyes uncovered:
I see him, but not now;
   I behold him, but not near—
a star shall come out of Jacob,
   and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel.


    Psalm 25:3-8    Ad te, Domine, levavi
3
Show me your ways, O LORD, *
     and teach me your paths.
4
Lead me in your truth and teach me, *
     for you are the God of my salvation;
     in you have I trusted all the day long.
5
Remember, O LORD, your compassion and love, *
     for they are from everlasting.
6
Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; *
     remember me according to your love
     and for the sake of your goodness, O LORD.
7
Gracious and upright is the LORD; *
     therefore he teaches sinners in his way.
8
He guides the humble in doing right *
     and teaches his way to the lowly.

Matthew 21:23-27

When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’ Jesus said to them, ‘I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?’ And they argued with one another, ‘If we say, “From heaven”, he will say to us, “Why then did you not believe him?” But if we say, “Of human origin”, we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.’ So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And he said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.


Tuesday

Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13

Ah, soiled, defiled,
   oppressing city!
It has listened to no voice;
   it has accepted no correction.
It has not trusted in the Lord;
   it has not drawn near to its God.

At that time I will change the speech of the peoples
   to a pure speech,
that all of them may call on the name of the Lord
   and serve him with one accord.
From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia
   my suppliants, my scattered ones,
   shall bring my offering.

On that day you shall not be put to shame
   because of all the deeds by which you have rebelled against me;
for then I will remove from your midst
   your proudly exultant ones,
and you shall no longer be haughty
   in my holy mountain.
For I will leave in the midst of you
   a people humble and lowly.
They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord—
   the remnant of Israel;
they shall do no wrong
   and utter no lies,
nor shall a deceitful tongue
   be found in their mouths.
Then they will pasture and lie down,
   and no one shall make them afraid.


    Psalm 34:1-8    Benedicam Domine
1
I will bless the LORD at all times; *
     his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
2
I will glory in the LORD; *
     let the humble hear and rejoice.
3
Proclaim with me the greatness of the LORD; *
     let us exalt his Name together.
4
I sought the LORD, and he answered me *
     and delivered me out of all my terror.
5
Look upon him and be radiant, *
     and let not your faces be ashamed.
6
I called in my affliction and the LORD heard me *
     and saved me from all my troubles.
7
The angel of the LORD encompasses those who fear him, *
     and he will deliver them.
8
Taste and see that the LORD is good; *
     happy are they who trust in him!

Matthew 21:28-32

 ‘What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir”; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax-collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax-collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.


Wednesday

Isaiah 45:5-8(9-17)18-25

I am the Lord, and there is no other;
   besides me there is no god.
   I arm you, though you do not know me,
so that they may know, from the rising of the sun
   and from the west, that there is no one besides me;
   I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form light and create darkness,
   I make weal and create woe;
   I the Lord do all these things.

Shower, O heavens, from above,
   and let the skies rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation may spring up,
   and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also;
   I the Lord have created it.

[Woe to you who strive with your Maker,
   earthen vessels with the potter!
Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, ‘What are you making?’
   or ‘Your work has no handles’?
Woe to anyone who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’
   or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labour?’
Thus says the Lord,
   the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
Will you question me about my children,
   or command me concerning the work of my hands?
I made the earth,
   and created humankind upon it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
   and I commanded all their host.
I have aroused Cyrus in righteousness,
   and I will make all his paths straight;
he shall build my city
   and set my exiles free,
not for price or reward,
   says the Lord of hosts.
Thus says the Lord:
The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Ethiopia,
   and the Sabeans, tall of stature,
shall come over to you and be yours,
   they shall follow you;
   they shall come over in chains and bow down to you.
They will make supplication to you, saying,
   ‘God is with you alone, and there is no other;
   there is no god besides him.’
Truly, you are a God who hides himself,
   O God of Israel, the Saviour.
All of them are put to shame and confounded,
   the makers of idols go in confusion together.
But Israel is saved by the Lord
   with everlasting salvation;
you shall not be put to shame or confounded
   to all eternity.]

For thus says the Lord,
who created the heavens
   (he is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
   (he established it;
he did not create it a chaos,
   he formed it to be inhabited!):
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I did not speak in secret,
   in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
   ‘Seek me in chaos.’
I the Lord speak the truth,
   I declare what is right.

Idols Cannot Save Babylon

Assemble yourselves and come together,
   draw near, you survivors of the nations!
They have no knowledge—
   those who carry about their wooden idols,
and keep on praying to a god
   that cannot save.
Declare and present your case;
   let them take counsel together!
Who told this long ago?
   Who declared it of old?
Was it not I, the Lord?
   There is no other god besides me,
a righteous God and a Saviour;
   there is no one besides me.

Turn to me and be saved,
   all the ends of the earth!
   For I am God, and there is no other.
By myself I have sworn,
   from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness
   a word that shall not return:
‘To me every knee shall bow,
   every tongue shall swear.’

Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,
   are righteousness and strength;
all who were incensed against him
   shall come to him and be ashamed.
In the Lord all the offspring of Israel
   shall triumph and glory.


    Psalm 85    Benedixisti, Domine
8
I will listen to what the LORD God is saying, *
     for he is speaking peace to his faithful people
     and to those who turn their hearts to him.
9
Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, *
     that his glory may dwell in our land.
10
Mercy and truth have met together; *
     righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11
Truth shall spring up from the earth, *
     and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12
The LORD will indeed grant prosperity, *
     and our land will yield its increase.
13
Righteousness shall go before him, *
     and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.


 
Thursday

Isaiah 54:1-10

Sing, O barren one who did not bear;
   burst into song and shout,
   you who have not been in labour!
For the children of the desolate woman will be more
   than the children of her that is married, says the Lord.
Enlarge the site of your tent,
   and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
   and strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread out to the right and to the left,
   and your descendants will possess the nations
   and will settle the desolate towns.

Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
   do not be discouraged, for you will not suffer disgrace;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
   and the disgrace of your widowhood you will remember no more.
For your Maker is your husband,
   the Lord of hosts is his name;
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
   the God of the whole earth he is called.
For the Lord has called you
   like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
like the wife of a man’s youth when she is cast off,
   says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
   but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing wrath for a moment
   I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,
   says the Lord, your Redeemer.

This is like the days of Noah to me:
   Just as I swore that the waters of Noah
   would never again go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
   and will not rebuke you.
For the mountains may depart
   and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
   and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,
   says the Lord, who has compassion on you.


1
I will exalt you, O LORD,
because you have lifted me up *
     and have not let my enemies triumph over me.
2
O LORD my God, I cried out to you, *
     and you restored me to health.
3
You brought me up, O LORD, from the dead; *
     you restored my life as I was going down to the grave.
4
Sing to the LORD, you servants of his; *
     give thanks for the remembrance of his holiness.
5
For his wrath endures but the twinkling of an eye, *
     his favor for a lifetime.
6
Weeping may spend the night, *
     but joy comes in the morning.
7
While I felt secure, I said,
"I shall never be disturbed. *
     You, LORD, with your favor, made me as strong as the
                                mountains."
8
Then you hid your face, *
     and I was filled with fear.
9
I cried to you, O LORD; *
     I pleaded with the Lord, saying,
10
"What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the Pit? *
     will the dust praise you or declare your faithfulness?
11
Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me; *
     O LORD, be my helper."
12
You have turned my wailing into dancing; *
     you have put off my sack-cloth and clothed me with joy.
13
Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing; *
     O LORD my God, I will give you thanks for ever.


Luke 7:24-30

 When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who put on fine clothing and live in luxury are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
   who will prepare your way before you.”
I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.’ (And all the people who heard this, including the tax-collectors, acknowledged the justice of God, because they had been baptized with John’s baptism. But by refusing to be baptized by him, the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves.)


Friday


Isaiah 56: 1-8

Thus says the Lord:
   Maintain justice, and do what is right,
for soon my salvation will come,
   and my deliverance be revealed.

Happy is the mortal who does this,
   the one who holds it fast,
who keeps the sabbath, not profaning it,
   and refrains from doing any evil.

Do not let the foreigner joined to the Lord say,
   ‘The Lord will surely separate me from his people’;
and do not let the eunuch say,
   ‘I am just a dry tree.’
For thus says the Lord:
To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths,
   who choose the things that please me
   and hold fast my covenant,
I will give, in my house and within my walls,
   a monument and a name
   better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
   that shall not be cut off.

And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
   to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
   and to be his servants,
all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it,
   and hold fast my covenant—
these I will bring to my holy mountain,
   and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices
   will be accepted on my altar;
for my house shall be called a house of prayer
   for all peoples.
Thus says the Lord God,
   who gathers the outcasts of Israel,
I will gather others to them
   besides those already gathered.


1
May God be merciful to us and bless us, *
     show us the light of his countenance and come to us.
2
Let your ways be known upon earth, *
     your saving health among all nations.
3
Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
     let all the peoples praise you.
4
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, *
     for you judge the peoples with equity
     and guide all the nations upon earth.
5
Let the peoples praise you, O God; *
     let all the peoples praise you.
6
The earth has brought forth her increase; *
     may God, our own God, give us his blessing.
7
May God give us his blessing, *
     and may all the ends of the earth stand in awe of him.


John 5:33-36</p> You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than Johnís. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.



 
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