A reading from the Book of the prophet ISAIAH. Is. 40:1-5,9-11.
God says, “Comfort, my people. Comfort them.” Speak to the people of JERUSALEM. Tell them they suffered long enough. I gave them double punishment for all the bad things they did, and now their sins are forgiven.
In the desert a voice shouts: “Prepare a way for the Lord, Make the road straight for God. Fill every valley. Make all mountains and hills flat. The rough land will be made smooth. Then the glory of the Lord will be shown, all people will see God’s glory. The Lord himself promised this.”
Happy messenger to ZION, you bring good news. Go to a high mountain and announce the good news. Do not be afraid, tell all the people in the towns of JUDAH ‘Here is your God.’
See the Lord God comes with power. God uses His power to rule all people. The Lord will lead his people, like a shepherd feeding his sheep, gathering lambs in his arms, and leading the mother sheep to place of rest.
The word of the Lord.