OLD TESTAMENT (Second Reading)
A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah
The wilderness and the parched land will exult;
the Arabah will rejoice and bloom;
like the crocus it shall bloom abundantly,
and rejoice with joyful song.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen hands that are feeble,
make firm knees that are weak,
say to the fearful of heart:
be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
with divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then the eyes of the blind shall see,
and the ears of the deaf be opened;
then the lame shall leap like a stag,
and the mute tongue sing for joy.
For waters will burst forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the Arabah.
The burning sands will become pools,
and the thirsty ground, springs of water;
the abode where jackals crouch
will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus.
A highway will be there,
called the holy way;
no one unclean may pass over it,
but it will be for his people;
no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray on it.
No lion shall be there,
nor any beast of prey approach, nor be found.
But there the redeemed shall walk,
and the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
they meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning flee away.
The Word of the Lord