Thursday of the Third Week in Advent

Reading I Is 54:1-10

    Raise a glad cry, you barren one who did not bear,
        Break forth in jubilant song, you who were not in labor,
    For more numerous are the children of the deserted wife
        than the children of her who has a husband,
        says the LORD.
    Enlarge the space for your tent,
        spread out your tent cloths unsparingly;
        lengthen your ropes and make firm your stakes.
    For you shall spread abroad to the right and to the left;
        your descendants shall dispossess the nations
        and shall people the desolate cities.

    Fear not, you shall not be put to shame;
        you need not blush, for you shall not be disgraced.
    The shame of your youth you shall forget,
        the reproach of your widowhood no longer remember.
    For he who has become your husband is your Maker;
        his name is the LORD of hosts;
    Your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
        called God of all the earth.
    The LORD calls you back,
        like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
    A wife married in youth and then cast off,
        says your God.
    For a brief moment I abandoned you,
        but with great tenderness I will take you back.
    In an outburst of wrath, for a moment
        I hid my face from you;
    But with enduring love I take pity on you,
        says the LORD, your redeemer.

    This is for me like the days of Noah,
        when I swore that the waters of Noah
        should never again deluge the earth;
    So I have sworn not to be angry with you,
        or to rebuke you.
    Though the mountains leave their place
        and the hills be shaken,
    My love shall never leave you
        nor my covenant of peace be shaken,
        says the LORD, who has mercy on you.

Responsorial Psalm 30:2 and 4, 5-6, 11-12a and 13b

R.    (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
    and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the nether world;
    you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R.    I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
    a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
    but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R.    I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
“Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
    O LORD, be my helper.”
You changed my mourning into dancing;
    O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R.    I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

Alleluia Luke 3:4, 6

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths:
All flesh shall see the salvation of God.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 7:24-30

When the messengers of John the Baptist had left,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John. 
“What did you go out to the desert to see  a reed swayed by the wind? 
Then what did you go out to see? 
Someone dressed in fine garments? 
Those who dress luxuriously and live sumptuously
are found in royal palaces. 
Then what did you go out to see? 
A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 
This is the one about whom Scripture says:

    Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
    he 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.”
(All the people who listened, including the tax collectors,
who were baptized with the baptism of John,
acknowledged the righteousness of God;
but the Pharisees and scholars of the law,
who were not baptized by him,
rejected the plan of God for themselves.)

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Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.