Monday after Gaudete, The Third Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Isaiah 10-12 (NKJV)
10:1 “Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, who write misfortune, which they have prescribed
2 “To rob the needy of justice, and to take what is right from the poor of My people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless.
3 “What will you do in the day of punishment, and in the desolation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your glory?
4 “Without Me they shall bow down among the prisoners, and they shall fall among the slain.” For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.
5 “Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger and the staff in whose hand is My indignation.
6 “I will send him against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, to seize the spoil, to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
7 “Yet he does not mean so, nor does his heart think so; But it is in his heart to destroy, and cut off not a few nations.
8 “For he says, ‘Are not my princes altogether kings?
9 ‘Is not Calno like Carchemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad? Is not Samaria like Damascus?
10 ‘As my hand has found the kingdoms of the idols, whose carved images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11 ‘As I have done to Samaria and her idols, shall I not do also to Jerusalem and her idols?'”
12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord has performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.”
13 For he says: “By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I am prudent; Also I have removed the boundaries of the people, and have robbed their treasuries; So I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man.
14 “My hand has found like a nest the riches of the people, and as one gathers eggs that are left, I have gathered all the earth; And there was no one who moved his wing, nor opened his mouth with even a peep.”
15 Shall the ax boast itself against him who chops with it? Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it? As if a rod could wield itself against those who lift it up, or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood!
16 Therefore the Lord, the Lord of hosts, will send leanness among his fat ones; And under his glory He will kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.
17 So the Light of Israel will be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame; It will burn and devour His thorns and his briers in one day.
18 And it will consume the glory of his forest and of his fruitful field, both soul and body; And they will be as when a sick man wastes away.
19 Then the rest of the trees of his forest will be so few in number that a child may write them.
20 And it shall come to pass in that day that the remnant of Israel, and such as have escaped of the house of Jacob, will never again depend on him who defeated them, but will depend on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
21 The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God.
22 For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, a remnant of them will return; The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
23 For the Lord GOD of hosts will make a determined end In the midst of all the land.
24 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: “O My people, who dwell in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrian. He shall strike you with a rod and lift up his staff against you, in the manner of Egypt. 25 For yet a very little while and the indignation will cease, as will My anger in their destruction.” 26 And the LORD of hosts will stir up a scourge for him like the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; as His rod was on the sea, so will He lift it up in the manner of Egypt.
27 It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.
28 He has come to Aiath, he has passed Migron; At Michmash he has attended to his equipment.
29 They have gone along the ridge, they have taken up lodging at Geba. Ramah is afraid, Gibeah of Saul has fled.
30 Lift up your voice, O daughter of Gallim! Cause it to be heard as far as Laish—O poor Anathoth!
31 Madmenah has fled, the inhabitants of Gebim seek refuge.
32 As yet he will remain at Nob that day; He will shake his fist at the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.
33 Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, will lop off the bough with terror; Those of high stature will be hewn down, and the haughty will be humbled.
34 He will cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon will fall by the Mighty One.
11:1 “There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
2 “The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.
3 “His delight is in the fear of the LORD, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears;
4 “But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.
5 “Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist.
6 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them.
7 “The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 “The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.
9 “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
10 “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious.”
11 It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left,
From Assyria and Egypt,
From Pathros and Cush,
From Elam and Shinar,
From Hamath and the islands of the sea.
12 He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
13 Also the envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim.
14 But they shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the west; Together they shall plunder the people of the East; They shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab; And the people of Ammon shall obey them.
15 The LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt; With His mighty wind He will shake His fist over the River, and strike it in the seven streams, and make men cross over dry-shod.
16 There will be a highway for the remnant of His people who will be left from Assyria, as it was for Israel In the day that he came up from the land of Egypt.
12:1 And in that day you will say: “O LORD, I will praise You; Though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.
2 “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.'”
3 Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
4 And in that day you will say: “Praise the LORD, call upon His name; Declare His deeds among the peoples, make mention that His name is exalted.
5 “Sing to the LORD, for He has done excellent things; This is known in all the earth.
6 “Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!”
“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots” (Isaiah 11:1).
Behold, a branch is growing of loveliest form and grace, as prophets sung, foreknowing; It springs from Jesse’s race and bears one little Flow’r In midst of coldest winter, At deepest midnight hour.
Isaiah hath foretold It In words of promise sure, and Mary’s arms enfold It, a virgin meek and pure. Through God’s eternal will this Child to her is given at midnight calm and still.
The shepherds heard the story, proclaimed by angels bright, how Christ, the Lord of Glory, was born on earth this night. To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger found Him, as angel heralds said.
This Flow’r, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air, dispels with glorious splendor the darkness ev’rywhere. True Man, yet very God; From sin and death He saves us and lightens ev’ry load.
(Behold, A Branch is Growing – Translation by Harriet Reynolds Krauth, 1922)
We pray: Most Merciful God, Who has given Your Eternal Word to be made incarnate of the Virgin, grant to Your people grace to put away fleshly lusts, so that we may be made ready for Your visitation; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.