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Advent Readings - Scripture Readings for Advent

In the Office of the Readings, part of the Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Catholic Church, the Church has chosen scripture passages that are appropriate to every day of the Advent season. These are an excellent way to focus our thoughts and deepen our understanding of the meaning of Advent by turning to the Bible.

Scripture Reading for the Blessing of an Advent Wreath
This passage from the Prophet Isaiah reminds us that Christ is our light, and that His Birth brought us out of the darkness of sin and saved us. It is often read during the blessing of an Advent wreath.

Scripture Readings for the First Week of Advent
An excellent way to focus our thoughts and deepen our understanding of the meaning of Advent is to turn to the Bible. In the Office of the Readings, part of the Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Church, the Church turns to the Old Testament book of the Prophet Isaiah for passages that are appropriate to every day of the Advent...

Scripture Reading for the First Sunday of Advent
On the first Sunday of Advent, we read the beginning of the book of Isaiah, where the prophet speaks in the voice of God and calls the people of Israel to repentance, to prepare them for the coming of His Son. But the Old Testament people of Israel also represents the New Testament Church, so the call to repentance applies to us as well.

Scripture Reading for the First Monday of Advent
In the reading for the first Monday of Advent, the Prophet Isaiah continues to call Israel to account, and God reveals His plan to remake Israel, purifying her so that she will be the shining city on a hill, toward which men of all nations will turn. This remade Israel is the Church of the New Testament, and it is Christ's coming that remakes Her.

Scripture Reading for the First Tuesday of Advent
The Prophet Isaiah continues the theme of the judgment of Israel in the reading for the first Tuesday of Advent. Because of the sins of the people, God will humble Israel, and only the "bud of the Lord"—Christ—will shine in glory.

Scripture Reading for the First Wednesday of Advent
In this passage for the first Wednesday of Advent, Isaiah discusses the vineyard that the Lord has built—the house of Israel. The passage calls to mind Christ's parable of the vineyard, in which the vineyard owner sends his only son to oversee the vineyard, and the workers in the vineyard kill him, foreshadowing Christ's own death.

Scripture Reading for the First Thursday of Advent
In this reading for the first Thursday of Advent, we see Isaiah prophesying the purification of Old Testament Israel. The Chosen People have squandered their inheritance, and now God is opening the door of salvation to all nations. Israel survives, as the New Testament Church; and over her sits a just judge, Jesus Christ.

Scripture Reading for the First Friday of Advent
The Prophet Isaiah continues with his theme of the conversion of nations in the reading for the first Friday of Advent. With the coming of Christ, salvation is no longer confined to Israel. Egypt, whose enslavement of the Israelites represented the darkness of sin, will be converted, as will Assyria. Christ's love encompasses all nations, and all are welcome in the New Testament Israel, the Church.

Scripture Reading for the First Saturday of Advent
Isaiah's prophecy foretells the coming of Christ, and of His triumph over sin. In the reading for the first Saturday of Advent, Babylon, the symbol of sin and idolatry, has fallen. Like the watchman, in this Advent we wait for the triumph of the Lord.

Scripture Readings for the Second Week of Advent
An excellent way to focus our thoughts and deepen our understanding of the meaning of Advent is to turn to the Bible. In the Office of the Readings, part of the official prayer of the Church, the Church turns to the Old Testament book of the Prophet Isaiah for passages that are appropriate to every day of the Advent season. These readings are...

Scripture Reading for the Second Sunday of Advent
As we enter the second week of Advent, we continue reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah. In today's selection, the Lord calls on the inhabitants of Jerusalem—those who have been saved—to mourn for their past sins, yet they continue to celebrate. They aren't thankful to God for saving them, and thus the Lord vows to humble them.

Scripture Reading for the Second Monday of Advent
True repentance means conforming ourselves to the way of the Lord. In this reading for the second Monday of Advent from the Prophet Isaiah, we see the Lord overturning all of human society, because of the sins and transgressions of the people. To be pleasing in the eyes of the Lord, we must humble ourselves.

Scripture Reading for the Second Tuesday of Advent
Isaiah prophesied not only about the coming of Christ as a child in Bethlehem, but about the final reign of Christ as King over all the earth. In this selection for the second Tuesday of Advent, Isaiah tells us of the final judgment.

Scripture Reading for the Second Wednesday of Advent
Yesterday, we read of the final judgment of God on the actions of men; today, in the reading for the second Wednesday of Advent, we hear the promise of Christ's reign over all the nations. The earth will be remade; death shall be destroyed; and men shall live in peace. The humble and the poor will be exalted, but the haughty will be humbled.

Scripture Reading for the Second Thursday of Advent
Earlier in the second week of Advent, Isaiah has shown us the judgment of the Lord, and the establishment of His reign on earth. On the second Thursday of Advent, we hear from the just man, who does not fear the justice of the Lord or complain about his own punishment, but looks forward to the resurrection from the dead.

Scripture Reading for the Second Friday of Advent
The Lord, Isaiah prophesied, would destroy the vineyard—the house of Israel—because His Chosen People had abandoned Him. In this reading for the second Friday of Advent, however, the Lord restores the vineyard and gathers the just to worship Him in Jerusalem, the symbol of Heaven. The "children of Israel" are now all the faithful.

Scripture Reading for the Second Saturday of Advent
As the second week of Advent draws to a close, Isaiah once again prophesies the Lord's judgment upon Jerusalem. In this reading for the second Saturday of Advent, we see that His judgment will be swift and overwhelming, like a horde of nations descending in war.

Scripture Reading for the Third Week of Advent
An excellent way to focus our thoughts and deepen our understanding of the meaning of Advent is to turn to the Bible. In the Office of the Readings, part of the Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Church, the Church turns to the Old Testament book of the Prophet Isaiah for passages that are appropriate to every day of the Advent...

Scripture Reading for the Third Sunday of Advent
In this reading for the third Sunday of Advent, we see that the Lord has passed His judgment on Israel, whose obedience to His Word is, at best, merely out of habit. Indeed, many of the children of Israel no longer even acknowledge Him as Lord. Therefore, the gospel will be preached to all nations by Christ.

Scripture Reading for the Third Monday of Advent
As we await the birth of Christ at Christmas, we also look forward to His Second Coming and, in the words of the Creed, "the life of the world to come." In the reading for the third Monday of Advent, the Prophet Isaiah gives us a glimpse of that world: no more hunger; no more pain; the Lord Himself living with us; man and the earth completely...

Scripture Reading for the Third Tuesday of Advent
At His Second Coming, Christ will not only reign over all the earth; but all the powers of the earth will be destroyed. In this reading for the third Tuesday of Advent, the Lord destroys Assyria, which stands for the powers of men.

Scripture Reading for the Third Wednesday of Advent
In this reading for the third Wednesday of Advent, the Prophet Isaiah tell us that, at the Second Coming, Christ will establish perfect justice. Those who are evil and deceitful will no longer get their way. In the world to come, the just man can live free from the distractions of sin.

Scripture Reading for the Third Thursday of Advent
In the reading for the third Thursday of Advent, the Prophet Isaiah once again describes the coming of the Lord. We believe that Christ comes twice: first, at Christmas; and second, at the end of time. These prophecies of the reign of the Lord began to be fulfilled when Christ was born and brought new life into the world; they will be...

Scripture Reading for the Third Friday of Advent
As the third week of Advent draws to a close, the prophecy of Isaiah shifts more completely to the coming of the Lord at the end of time. In this reading for the third Friday of Advent, the earth will be cleansed with fire, and only the just man will emerge. He will live in the eternal Jerusalem, ruled by Christ.

Scripture Reading for the Third Saturday of Advent
From December 17 on, the Church offers special readings to ensure that key parts of the Book of Isaiah are read before Christmas. Since the third Saturday of Advent always falls on or after December 17, use the scripture reading for the appropriate day instead.

Advent Scripture Readings for December 17 through December 24
An excellent way to focus our thoughts and deepen our understanding of the meaning of Advent is to turn to the Bible. In the Office of the Readings, part of the Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Church, the Church turns to the Old Testament book of the Prophet Isaiah for passages that are appropriate to every day of the Advent...

Scripture Reading for December 17
During the last eight days before Christmas, the prescribed readings include the greatest prophecies from the Book of Isaiah. On December 17, we read of a Christ-figure: Cyrus the Great, king of the Persians, whom God used as a protector of the Jews, even though Cyrus did not profess faith in Him. The works ascribed to Cyrus are those that are later performed by Christ.

Scripture Reading for December 18
The Israelites were constantly tempted to abandon faith in God and to turn to idols instead. In this passage from the Book of Isaiah for December 18, the Lord reveals the futility of idols. He created us; He alone is our God; and He alone can save us. His plan of salvation will soon begin, with the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Scripture Reading for December 19
The prophecies of Isaiah continue to point to the coming of Christ. In the reading for December 19, we discover the fate of Babylon, which represents those who have rejected the Lord. God used Babylon to punish the Israelites (the Babylonian captivity), but the Babylonians never came to worship Him. Now, as Christ comes and Israel is restored in the New Testament Church, Babylon will be punished for her unbelief.

Scripture Reading for December 20
In this passage from the Book of Isaiah for December 20, the Lord tells the people of Israel that His prophecies, announced in the past and already fulfilled, were to keep Israel from falling into the worship of idols. Now, the Lord will announce new prophecies—those concerning Christ—and the fact that they have not been heard before will be evidence of the power of God, once they are fulfilled.

Scripture Reading for December 21
As Christmas approaches, the passages from the Book of Isaiah might seem more familiar. The reading for December 21 includes verses that we have all heard in Handel's Messiah. The Lord identifies Himself as the Creator of all, and He describes Himself in ways that Christ will be described.

Scripture Reading for December 22
Christmas is coming, and so Isaiah's prophecies are turning toward the restoration of Israel. Christ, through the plan of salvation, will reunite all mankind to God. In this reading for December 22, we see that our sins have separated us from Him, but the Lord does not forget those whom He has both created and chosen.

Scripture Reading for December 23
In the reading for December 23, the Prophet Isaiah assures us that what the Lord has promised, He will deliver. He chose Abraham for his justice, and from him, He raised a great nation. From that nation, a Child is born, Who will bring salvation to all mankind.

Scripture Reading for December 24
The long wait is almost over; our redemption is at hand. Tomorrow, Christ becomes a Man, but not just any man; He is the God-Made-Man Who cleanses us from our sins. Israel is restored, in the Church of the New Testament; and the Gospel is preached to all nations.

Scripture Readings for the Fourth Week of Advent
An excellent way to focus our thoughts and deepen our understanding of the meaning of Advent is to turn to the Bible. In the Office of the Readings, part of the Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Church, the Church turns to the Old Testament book of the Prophet Isaiah for passages that are appropriate to every day of the Advent season.

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