Readings and Reflection for December 2, Thursday of the First Week of Advent

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FIRST READING    
Let the righteous nation which keeps faith enter in…..
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 26:1-6)

In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps faith may enter in. You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord for ever, for the Lord GOD is an everlasting rock. For he has brought low the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city. He lays it low, lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust. The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 118: 1 and 8-9.19-21.25-27 (R. 26a)
R. Blest is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Or: Alleluia.

Give praise to the Lord, for he is good;
his mercy endures forever.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord 
than to trust in man;
it is better to take refuge in the Lord 
than to trust in princes. R.

Open to me the gates of justice: 
I will enter and thank the Lord. 
This is the Lord’s own gate, 
Where the just enter. 
I will thank you, for you have answered,
And you are my saviour. R.

R. Blest is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Or: Alleluia.

O Lord, grant salvation; 
O Lord, grant success. 
Blest is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
We bless you from the house of the Lord; 
The Lord is God, and has given us light. R.

ALLELUIA
Alleluia. Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
He who does the will of the Father shall enter the kingdom of heaven.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 7:21.24-27)     

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

TODAY’S REFLECTION
Spiritual maturity is not conceptual but practical. When we start to live out our faith, it slowly becomes a part of us. In Advent we prepare, not only for Christmas Day, but for something more lasting. We try to capture the Christmas spirit to make it our own. This has less to do with the atmosphere of the season and more to do with the communion we share. If we base our Christmas celebration on our experience of the Lord Jesus, it will have effects that flow into every phase of our life. Christmas is a way of life and putting its message into practice is like building on a rock; it lasts.

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