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Reading 1, Isaiah 40:1-11
1 ‘Console my people, console them,’ says your God.
2 ‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and cry to her that her period of service is ended, that her guilt has been atoned for, that, from the hand of Yahweh, she has received double punishment for all her sins.’
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3 A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the desert a way for Yahweh. Make a straight highway for our God across the wastelands.
4 Let every valley be filled in, every mountain and hill be levelled, every cliff become a plateau, every escarpment a plain;
5 then the glory of Yahweh will be revealed and all humanity will see it together, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.’
6 A voice said, ‘Cry aloud!’ and I said, ‘What shall I cry?’ -‘All humanity is grass and all its beauty like the wild flower’s.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of Yahweh blows on them. (The grass is surely the people.)
8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God remains for ever.’
9 Go up on a high mountain, messenger of Zion. Shout as loud as you can, messenger of Jerusalem! Shout fearlessly, say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God.’
10 Here is Lord Yahweh coming with power, his arm maintains his authority, his reward is with him and his prize precedes him.
11 He is like a shepherd feeding his flock, gathering lambs in his arms, holding them against his breast and leading to their rest the mother ewes.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 96:1-2, 3, 10, 11-12, 13
1 Sing a new song to Yahweh! Sing to Yahweh, all the earth!
2 Sing to Yahweh, bless his name! Proclaim his salvation day after day,
3 declare his glory among the nations, his marvels to every people!
10 Say among the nations, ‘Yahweh is king.’ The world is set firm, it cannot be moved. He will judge the nations with justice.
11 Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad! Let the sea thunder, and all it holds!
12 Let the countryside exult, and all that is in it, and all the trees of the forest cry out for joy,
13 at Yahweh’s approach, for he is coming, coming to judge the earth; he will judge the world with saving justice, and the nations with constancy.
13 In truth I tell you, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all.
14 Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.