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In the days of Ahaz, king of Judah, son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, king of Israel, son of Remaliah, went up to attack Jerusalem, but they were not able to conquer it. When word came to the house of David that Aram was encamped in Ephraim, the heart of the king and heart of the people trembled, as the trees of the forest tremble in the wind. Then the LORD said to Isaiah: Go out to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway of the fuller's field, and say to him: Take care you remain tranquil and do not fear; let not your courage fail before these two stumps of smoldering brands (the blazing anger of Rezin and the Arameans, and of the son of Remaliah), because of the mischief that Aram (Ephraim and the son of Remaliah) plots against you, saying, "Let us go up and tear Judah asunder, make it our own by force, and appoint the son of Tabeel king there." Thus says the LORD: This shall not stand, it shall not be! Damascus is the capital of Aram, and Rezin the head of Damascus; Samaria is the capital of Ephraim, and Remaliah's son the head of Samaria. But within sixty years and five, Ephraim shall be crushed, no longer a nation. Unless your faith is firm you shall not be firm!
Great is the LORD and wholly to be praised in the city of our God. In the city of our God. fairest of heights, the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, the heights of Zaphon, the city of the great king. fairest of heights, the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, the heights of Zaphon, the city of the great king. His holy mountain, fairest of heights, is the joy of all the earth. Mount Zion, “the recesses of the North,” is the city of the great King. Mount Zion, "the recesses of the North," is the city of the great King. God is with her castles; renowned is he as a stronghold. For lo! the kings assemble, they come on together; For lo! the kings assemble, They come on together; They also see, and at once are stunned, terrified, routed. Quaking seizes them there; anguish, like a woman's in labor, Quaking seizes them there; Anguish, like a woman's in labor, As though a wind from the east were shattering ships of Tarshish.
Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum: 'Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.' For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."
Christ, who always practiced in his life what he preached, before beginning his ministry spent forty days and forty nights in prayer and fasting, and began his public mission with the joyful message: "The kingdom of God is at hand." To this he added the command: "Repent and believe in the Gospel."(Mk 1:15) These words constitute, in a way, a compendium of the whole Christian life. The kingdom of God announced by Christ can be entered only by a "change of heart" ("metanoia") that is to say through an intimate and total change and renewal of the entire man. (...) The invitation of the Son to "metanoia" becomes all the more inescapable inasmuch as he not only preaches it but himself offers an example. Christ, in fact, is the supreme model for those doing penance. He willed to suffer punishment for sins which were not his but those of others. In the presence of Christ man is illumined with a new light and consequently recognizes the holiness of God and the gravity of sin. Through the word of Christ a message is transmitted to him that invites him to conversion and grants forgiveness of sins. These gifts he fully attains in baptism. This sacrament, in fact, configures him to the passion, death and resurrection of the Lord, and places the whole future of the life of the baptized under the seal of this mystery. Therefore, following the Master, every Christian must renounce himself, take up his own cross and participate in the sufferings of Christ. Thus transformed into the image of Christ's death, he is made capable of meditating on the glory of the resurrection. Furthermore, following the Master, he can no longer live for himself, but must live for him who loves him and gave himself for him.(Gal 2:20) He will also have to live for his brethren, completing "in his flesh that which is lacking in the sufferings of Christ (...) for the benefit of his body, which is the church"(Col 1:24).
Thus says the LORD: Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.
You have visited the land and watered it; greatly have you enriched it. God's watercourses are filled; You have prepared the grain. Thus have you prepared the land: drenching its furrows, breaking up its clods, softening it with showers, blessing its yield. You have crowned the year with your bounty, and your paths overflow with a rich harvest; You have crowned the year with your bounty, And your paths overflow with a rich harvest; the untilled meadows overflow with it, and rejoicing clothes the hills. The pastures are clothed with flocks, the valleys blanketed with grain; they cheer and sing for joy.
Brothers and sisters: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear." The disciples approached him and said, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" He said to them in reply, "Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because 'they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.'" Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: 'You shall indeed hear but not understand you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and be converted, and I heal them.' But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it". Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold."
All evangelization is based on the Word of God, listened to, meditated upon, lived, celebrated and witnessed to. The sacred Scriptures are the very source of evangelization. Consequently, we need to be constantly trained in hearing the word. The Church does not evangelize unless she constantly lets herself be evangelized. It is indispensable that the word of God “be ever more fully at the heart of every ecclesial activity” (Benedict XVI). God’s word, listened to and celebrated, above all in the Eucharist, nourishes and inwardly strengthens Christians, enabling them to offer an authentic witness to the Gospel in daily life. We have long since moved beyond that old contraposition between word and sacrament. The preaching of the word, living and effective, prepares for the reception of the sacrament, and in the sacrament that word attains its maximum efficacy. The study of the sacred Scriptures must be a door opened to every believer. It is essential that the revealed word radically enrich our catechesis and all our efforts to pass on the faith. Evangelization demands familiarity with God’s word, which calls for dioceses, parishes and Catholic associations to provide for a serious, ongoing study of the Bible, while encouraging its prayerful individual and communal reading. We do not blindly seek God, or wait for him to speak to us first, for: “God has already spoken, and there is nothing further that we need to know, which has not been revealed to us” (Benedict XVI). Let us receive the sublime treasure of the revealed word.