Reading 1, Isaiah 61:1-2, 10-11
1 The spirit of Lord Yahweh is on me for Yahweh has anointed me. He has sent me to bring the news to the afflicted, to soothe the broken-hearted,
2 to proclaim liberty to captives, release to those in prison, to proclaim a year of favour from Yahweh and a day of vengeance for our God, to comfort all who mourn
10 I exult for joy in Yahweh, my soul rejoices in my God, for he has clothed me in garments of salvation, he has wrapped me in a cloak of saving justice, like a bridegroom wearing his garland, like a bride adorned in her jewels.
11 For as the earth sends up its shoots and a garden makes seeds sprout, so Lord Yahweh makes saving justice and praise spring up in the sight of all nations.
Responsorial Psalm, Luke 1:46-48, 49-50, 53-54
46 And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
48 because he has looked upon the humiliation of his servant. Yes, from now onwards all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Almighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name,
50 and his faithful love extends age after age to those who fear him.
53 He has filled the starving with good things, sent the rich away empty.
54 He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his faithful love
Reading 2, First Thessalonians 5:16-24
16 Always be joyful;
17 pray constantly;
18 and for all things give thanks; this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not stifle the Spirit
20 or despise the gift of prophecy with contempt;
21 test everything and hold on to what is good
22 and shun every form of evil.
23 May the God of peace make you perfect and holy; and may your spirit, life and body be kept blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 He who has called you is trustworthy and will carry it out.
Gospel, John 1:6-8, 19-28
6 A man came, sent by God. His name was John.
7 He came as a witness, to bear witness to the light, so that everyone might believe through him.
8 He was not the light, he was to bear witness to the light.
19 This was the witness of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’
20 He declared, he did not deny but declared, ‘I am not the Christ.’
21 So they asked, ‘Then are you Elijah?’ He replied, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’
22 So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’
23 So he said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied: A voice of one that cries in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord. Make his paths straight!’
24 Now those who had been sent were Pharisees,
25 and they put this question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the Prophet?’
26 John answered them, ‘I baptise with water; but standing among you — unknown to you-
27 is the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandal.’
28 This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.
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