FIRST READING: Isaiah 49: 1 - 6
1 Listen to me, O islands, pay attention, peoples from distant lands. Yahweh called me from my mother's womb; he pronounced my name before I was born.
2 He made my mouth like a sharpened sword. He hid me in the shadow of his hand. He made me into a polished arrow set apart in his quiver.
3 He said to me, "You are Israel, my servant, Through you I will be known."
4 "I have labored in vain," I thought and spent my strength for nothing." Yet what is due me was in the hand of Yahweh, and my reward was with my God. I am important in the sight of Yahweh, and my God is my strength.
5 And now Yahweh has spoken, he who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, to gather Israel to him.
6 He said: " 'Tis not enough that you be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob, to bring back the remnant of Israel. I will make you the light of the nations, that my salvation will reach to the ends of the earth."
PSALM: Psalms 139: 1 - 3, 13 - 15
1 O Lord, you know me: you have scrutinized me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; beforehand you discern my thoughts.
3 You observe my activities and times of rest; you are familiar with all my ways.
13 It was you who formed my inmost part and knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I thank you for these wonders you have done, and my heart praises you for your marvelous deeds.
15 Even my bones were known to you when I was being formed in secret, fashioned in the depths of the earth.
SECOND READING: Acts 13: 22 - 26
22 After that time, God removed him and raised up David as king, to whom he bore witness saying: I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all I want him to do.
23 It is from the descendants of David that God has now raised up the promised savior of Israel, Jesus.
24 Before he appeared, John proclaimed a baptism of repentance for all the people of Israel.
25 As John was ending his life's work, he said: 'I am not what you think I am, for after me another one is coming whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.'
26 Brothers, children and descendants of Abraham, and you also who fear God, it is to you that this message of salvation has been sent.
GOSPEL: Luke 1: 57 - 66, 80
57 When the time came for Elizabeth, she gave birth to a son.
58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the merciful Lord had done a wonderful thing for her and they rejoiced with her.
59 When on the eighth day they came to attend the circumcision of the child, they wanted to name him Zechariah after his father.
60 But his mother said, "Not so; he shall be called John."
61 They said to her, "No one in your family has that name";
62 and they asked the father by means of signs for the name he wanted to give.
63 Zechariah asked for a writing tablet and wrote on it, "His name is John," and they were very surprised.
64 Immediately Zechariah could speak again and his first words were in praise of God.
65 A holy fear came on all in the neighborhood, and throughout the Hills of Judea the people talked about these events.
66 All who heard of it pondered in their minds and wondered, "What will this child be?" For they understood that the hand of the Lord was with him.
80 As the child grew up, he was seen to be strong in the Spirit; he lived in the desert till the day when he appeared openly in Israel.