December 13, 2019
First Reading: Isaiah 41:13-20
13 For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I will help you.” 14 Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you, says the LORD; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. 15 Behold, I will make of you a threshing sledge, new, sharp, and having teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and crush them, and you shall make the hills like chaff; 16 You shall winnow them and the wind shall carry them away, and the tempest shall scatter them. And you shall rejoice in the LORD; in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory. 17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. 18 I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. 19 I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive; I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together; 20 that men may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.
Psalm: 145:1, 9-13
1 I will extol thee, my God and King, and bless thy name for ever and ever. 9 The LORD is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made. 10 All thy works shall give thanks to thee, O LORD, and all thy saints shall bless thee! 11 They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and tell of thy power, 12 to make known to the sons of men thy mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of thy kingdom. 13 Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endures throughout all generations. The LORD is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.
Gospel: Matthew 11:11-15
11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John; 14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is Eli’jah who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Advent Carol Reflection for the Day:
Fling wide the portals of your heart;
make it a temple, set apart
from earthly use for heaven’s employ,
adorned with prayer and love and joy.
Redeemer, come, with us abide;
our hearts to thee we open wide;
let us thy inner presence feel;
thy grace and love in us reveal.
Carol: Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates
Lyrics: Georg Weissel; trans. by Catherine Winkworth