Fourth Sunday of Advent
FIRST READING : Micah 5: 1 - 4
1 Now you are walled about with a wall; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike upon the cheek the ruler of Israel.
2 But you, O Bethlehem Eph'rathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.
3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in travail has brought forth; then the rest of his brethren shall return to the people of Israel.
4 And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth.
PSALM : Psalms 80: 2 - 3, 15 - 16, 18 - 19
2 before E'phraim and Benjamin and Manas'seh! Stir up thy might, and come to save us!
3 Restore us, O God; let thy face shine, that we may be saved!
15 the stock which thy right hand planted.
16 They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance!
18 Then we will never turn back from thee; give us life, and we will call on thy name!
19 Restore us, O LORD God of hosts! let thy face shine, that we may be saved!
SECOND READING : Hebrews 10: 5 - 10
5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, "Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired, but a body hast thou prepared for me;
6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings thou hast taken no pleasure.
7 Then I said, `Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God, 'as it is written of me in the roll of the book."
8 When he said above, "Thou hast neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law),
9 then he added, "Lo, I have come to do thy will." He abolishes the first in order to establish the second.
10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
GOSPEL : Luke 1: 39 - 45
39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah,
40 and she entered the house of Zechari'ah and greeted Elizabeth.
41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.
45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."