Reading 1, Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
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.’
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.’
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 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
9 His saving help is near for those who fear him, his glory will dwell in our land.
10 Faithful Love and Loyalty join together, Saving Justice and Peace embrace.
11 Loyalty will spring up from the earth, and Justice will lean down from heaven.
12 Yahweh will himself give prosperity, and our soil will yield its harvest.
13 Justice will walk before him, treading out a path.
Reading 2, Second Peter 3:8-14
8 But there is one thing, my dear friends, that you must never forget: that with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
9 The Lord is not being slow in carrying out his promises, as some people think he is; rather is he being patient with you, wanting nobody to be lost and everybody to be brought to repentance.
10 The Day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then with a roar the sky will vanish, the elements will catch fire and melt away, the earth and all that it contains will be burned up.
11 Since everything is coming to an end like this, what holy and saintly lives you should be living
12 while you wait for the Day of God to come, and try to hasten its coming: on that Day the sky will dissolve in flames and the elements melt in the heat.
13 What we are waiting for, relying on his promises, is the new heavens and new earth, where uprightness will be at home.
14 So then, my dear friends, while you are waiting, do your best to live blameless and unsullied lives so that he will find you at peace.
Gospel, Mark 1:1-8
1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 It is written in the prophet Isaiah: Look, I am going to send my messenger in front of you to prepare your way before you.
3 A voice of one that cries in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 John the Baptist was in the desert, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
5 All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordanthey confessed their sins.
6 John wore a garment of camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey.
7 In the course of his preaching he said, ‘After me is coming someone who is more powerful than me, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals.
8 I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’
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