Please see Using Lection Connection.
Full lections can be read here.
Based on the Readings as Set
First Reading (Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11)
Isaiah is anointed by Spirit of the Lord to announce the good news to Israel that all their calamities will be reversed. As the Lord clothes them with salvation and righteousness, as his blessed people they will display his glory before the nations.
Reflecting on those blessed occasions when Yahweh had restored Israel’s fortunes in the past, the Psalmist calls upon him once again to act in like manner. Although his people have sown with tears he is confident that they shall reap in joy under the Lord’s hand.
In response to Elizabeth’s exuberant blessing of her and her unborn child, Mary praises God for exalting her so highly. She sees the same thing happening to many others as God acts to honor his age-old promise to Abraham’s descendants.
Second Reading (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24)
Paul sets out how to live in order to be ready for the coming of Jesus. Live a sound and blameless life, open to the Spirit and the prophets, rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks in all circumstances.
Gospel (John 1:6-8, 19-28)
John the Baptist appears in the wilderness as a witness to the coming light. In response to Jewish religious authorities John denies being the Messiah or even a prophet. Rather his baptism is but preparation for a much greater individual, shortly to make his arrival.
• God raises up the humble and oppressed
• Preparing for the arrival of the Lord
• The need for good news
• Confidence in God’s arrival, born of his past interventions, transforms the waiting time
• God’s people will endure suffering and trouble but are assured of ultimate relief in God’s time
• The joy of participating in the mission of God