Readings: Advent 4C
Old Testament: Micah 5:2-5a
2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. 3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. 4 And he shall stand and shepherd 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. 5 And he shall be their peace.
1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth. 2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might and come to save us!
3 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!
4 O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers? 5 You have fed them with the bread of tears and given them tears to drink in full measure. 6 You make us an object of contention for our neighbors, and our enemies laugh among themselves.
7 Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved!
Epistle: Hebrews 10:5-10
5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,but a body have you prepared for me;6 in burnt offerings and sin offeringsyou have taken no pleasure.7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”
8 When he said above, “You have 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, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with 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 (46-56)
39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby 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 to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
[46 And Mary said,“My soul magnifies the Lord,47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.50 And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.51 He has shown strength with his arm;he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;52 he has brought down the mighty from their thronesand exalted those of humble estate;53 he has filled the hungry with good things,and the rich he has sent away empty.54 He has helped his servant Israel,in remembrance of his mercy,55 as he spoke to our fathers,to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.]