Readings for the Office of Vigils (2 Year Cycle)
         
       
   

Year B: The First Week of Advent TUESDAY

First Reading
Isaiah 2:6-22; 4:2-6

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.

Thou hast rejected thy people, the house of Jacob, because they are full of diviners from the east and of soothsayers like the Philistines, and they strike hands with foreigners. Their land is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures; their land is filled with horses, and there is no end to their chariots. Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their own fingers have made. So man is humbled, and men are brought low - forgive them not!

Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust from before the terror of the LORD, and from the glory of his majesty. The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the pride of men shall be humbled; and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.

For the LORD of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up and high; against all the cedars of Lebanon, lofty and lifted up; and against all the oaks of Bashan; against all the high mountains, and against all the lofty hills; against every high tower, and against every fortified wall; against all the ships of Tarshish, and against all the beautiful craft. And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the pride of men shall be brought low; and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. And the idols shall utterly pass away. And men shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the LORD, and from the glory of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth. In that day men will cast forth their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship, to the moles and to the bats, to enter the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs, from before the terror of the LORD, and from the glory of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth. Turn away from man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?

In that day the branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel. And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, every one who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning. Then the LORD will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy and a pavilion. It will be for a shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

 

Second Reading
St Gregory Nazianzen, Oratio 45. 9,22,26,28, from The Divine Office vol. I

A reading from the Orations of St Gregory Nazianzen

The Son of God himself, who is before all ages, the invisible, the incomprehensible, the bodiless, the beginning from the beginning, the light from the light, source of life and immortality, image of the archetype, immovable seal, unchangeable image, the Father’s definition and Word, he it is who came to his own image and took to himself flesh for the sake of our flesh. Then he united himself with an intelligent soul for my soul’s sake, purifying like by like. He took to himself all that is human, except sin. He was conceived by the Virgin who was first purified in body and soul by the Spirit. It was necessary both that childbearing be honoured and that virginity be honoured still more highly.

He came forth as God with what he had taken to himself. Out of two contraries, flesh and spirit, he made one. The Spirit conferred the godhead on the flesh that received it. He who enriches others becomes poor. He took to himself the poverty of my flesh so that I might obtain the riches of his godhead. He who is full empties himself. He emptied himself of his godhead for a brief time so that I might share in his fullness.

What is this wealth of goodness? What is this mystery that touches me? I received the divine image and I did not keep it. He receives my flesh to save the image and grant immortality to the flesh. This, his second communion with us, is far more marvellous than the first. It was necessary that holiness be conferred on man through the humanity God took to himself. In this way, conquering the tyrant by force, he freed us and led us back to himself through his Son, the mediator. The Son brought this about to the honour of the Father to whom in all things, he is seen to defer.

The good shepherd, who lays down his life for his sheep, set out after the strayed sheep, on the mountains and hills on which you used to sacrifice. When he found the stray sheep he carried it on those same shoulders that bore the wood of the cross, and brought it back with him to the life above. The brightest of all lights follows the lamp that goes before him. The Word follows the voice in the wilderness. The bridegroom follows the friend of the bridegroom who is making ready for God a special people, cleansing them with water in anticipation of the Spirit.

We needed an incarnate God who would die that we might live. We died with him that we might be cleansed. We rose again with him because we died with him. We were glorified with him because we rose again with him.