Sunday, Dec 20, 2015: “Today’s Scripture Readings”


A Reading from the Book of Micah (5:2-5a)


You, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has brought forth; then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be the one of peace.


  • The writing were from the 8th century BCE, similar to the time of Isaiah.
  • “Who is like Yahweh” can be found in Micah.
  • Bethlehem of Ephrathah was used to distiguish from another town called Bethlehem.
  • Matthew quotes Micah as to locate where Jesus was born.





Psalm 80:1-7


1 Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock; *

   shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim.

2  In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, *

   stir up your strength and come to help us.

3  Restore us, O God of hosts; *

    show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

4  O Lord God of hosts, *

    how long will you be angered 

           despite the prayers of your people?

5  You have fed them with the bread of tears; *

    you have given them bowls of tears to drink.

6  You have made us the derision of our neighbors, *

    and our enemies laugh us to scorn.

7  Restore us, O God of hosts; *

    show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.


  • This is a complaint Psalm – the plea… come and restore us; bring the promised one of Micah.
  • There a mixture of northern and southern elements in the verses.
  • Joseph was a northern tribe.
  • Verses five and seven make up a refrain and are the heart of the Psalm.
  • The cherubim, – God of hosts were a southern tradition. 




A Reading from the Book of Hebrews (10:5-10)



When Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘See, God, I have come to do your will, O God’ (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).” When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “See, I have come to do your will.”  He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.


  • Paul quotes Psalm (40:6-9) in these verses.
  • The author is unknown.  The themes do not fit with Paul’s writings.
  • It is characterized by Jesus replacing Judaism.
  • In Paul’s letters, that was not the case of Jesus actually replacing Judaism.




The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke (1:39-55)


In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”  And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”  And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.


  • In Year A: Matthew – An angel to Joseph
  • In Year B: Luke – An angel to Mary (the annunciation)
  • In Year C: Luke – The visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
  • The first two chapters of Luke are a very rich Christmas story.
  • In John, John the Baptist did not even know Jesus.
  • The Magnificat is similar to the Song of Hannah.
  • These verses are very rich in symbolism.
  • All the verbs are actions of God and not humans.