The Word This Week

st-john-the-baptist-detail-from-the-annunciation-from-the-isenheim-altarpieceIn many ways the readings this Sunday are simply a continuation of last week. Isaiah gives us more details about the work of the Messiah, and Paul invites us to continue to be patient until the Lord’s Coming. What is slightly different is the voice of John the Baptist this week: last week in Matthew 3 he was proclaiming with utter confidence that someone is coming. Now, in Matthew 11, he asks Jesus from prison: Is it you? For us, as we listen to these scriptures, we are being offered something very particular: the prophecies of Isaiah (and indeed the prophet John the Baptist) are pinned down firmly and securely in the person of Jesus, Son of Mary. In fact, Jesus himself, in his reply to John says as much: “I am the Messiah that Isaiah prophesied.” Again we are invited to hold the images of the prophecies in our minds until Christmas, when we can look on the child in the manger and say: “We know who this is: it is the promised Messiah, God who comes to save us!”

Today’s Scripture (Psalter: Week 3)

Isaiah 35: 1 – 6, 10
God himself is coming to save you.
Response: Psalm 145
It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever,
who is just to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry,
the Lord, who sets prisoners free.

It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind,
who raises up those who are bowed down,
The Lord, who protects the stranger
and upholds the widow and orphan.

It is the Lord who loves the just
but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign for ever,
Zion’s God, from age to age.

James 5: 7 – 10
Do not lose heart for the Lord’s coming will be soon.
cclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!
The spirit of the Lord has been given to me.
He has sent me to bring good news too the poor.
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!

Matthew 11: 2 – 11
Are you the one who is to come, or have we got to wait for someone else?
Prayer of the Faithful:    R/. Lord, keep faith.

If you’d like to read today’s readings, you can find them on Catholic Online