FIRST READING

There will be joy for those who are saved.

A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 4:2-6)

In that day the branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel. And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, every one who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the blood stains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgement and by a spirit of burning. Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy and a pavilion. It will be for a shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM (Ps 122: 1-2.3-4ab.4cd-5.6-7.8-9 (R. sec 1)

R/. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

I rejoiced when they said to me,

“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

And now our feet are standing within

your gates, O Jerusalem. R/.

Jerusalem is built as a city bonded as one together.

It is there that the tribes go up,

the tribes of the Lord. R/.

For Israel’s witness it is

top raise the name of the Lord.

There were set the thrones for

judgement, the thrones of the house of David. R/.

R/. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

For the peace of Jerusalem pray,

“May they prosper, those who love you.”

May peace abide in your walls,

and security be in your towers. R/.

For the sake of my family and friends,

let me say, “Peace upon you.”

For the sake of the house of the Lord, our God,

I will seek good things for you. R/.

ALLELUIA (Psalm 80:3b-4)

Alleluia. Come to save us, Lord our God; let your face shine on us, and we shall be saved.

Alleluia.

GOSPEL

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 8:5-11)

Many will come from east and west and sit at table in the kingdom of heaven.

At that time: As Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, begging him and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion answered him, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard him, he marvelled, and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

TODAY’S REFLECTION

Year after year we enter the Advent season and, as years go by, it would seem that Advent has gradually become less about God and more about us. Of course, it still maintains its status as a period of preparation, only losing its intended direction, for our preparations are done in the markets, the banks, the bakeries, the fashion shops and hair salons. Our actual preparation should be mainly done on our knees. At advent we commemorate an event which took place in the past but whose effect remains ever present; at Advent we prepare to welcome Christ born anew in our heart and home; at Advent we get ready for the second coming of the One who loves us. Let this not be one of those Advents; let it be a time to deepen our relationship with the reason for the season – Jesus Christ.

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