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Scripture Reading for the First Wednesday of Advent

The Vineyard of the Lord

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One of the reasons that the Church prescribes readings from the Prophet Isaiah for Advent is that no other Old Testament writer more fully foretells the life of Christ.

In this passage, Isaiah discusses the vineyard that the Lord has built—the house of Israel. Those for whom the vineyard was built have not cared for it, and it has yielded only wild grapes. 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.

Isaiah 5:1-7 (Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition)

I will sing to my beloved the canticle of my cousin concerning his vineyard. My beloved had a vineyard on a hill in a fruitful place. And he fenced it in, and picked the stones out of it, and planted it with the choicest vines, and built a tower in the midst thereof, and set up a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

And now, O ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and ye men of Juda, judge between me and my vineyard. What is there that I ought to do more to my vineyard, that I have not done to it? was it that I looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it hath brought forth wild grapes?

And now I will shew you what I will do to my vineyard. I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be wasted: I will break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down. And I will make it desolate: it shall not be pruned, and it shall not be digged: but briers and thorns shall come up: and I will command the clouds to rain no rain upon it.

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel: and the man of Juda, his pleasant plant: and I looked that he should do judgment, and behold iniquity: and do justice, and behold a cry.

  • Source: Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition of the Bible (in the public domain)
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